Every year, physicians in the United States treat over five million ankle injuries. Many of these injuries are ankle fractures, which can stop you from walking for some time. At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee, Michael Hood, MD, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, treats ankle fractures with surgical and nonoperative approaches. If you injure your ankle and suspect a fracture, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine for advanced care or book your visit online today.
An ankle fracture, or broken ankle, happens when one of the bones within your ankle cracks or breaks into multiple pieces. Some fractures are mild enough that they don’t affect your ability to walk, while others displace the bones within your ankle and require you to take some time off your feet altogether while you go through treatment and recovery.
Like other fractures, ankle fractures are common in car accidents and contact sports. However, you can also fracture your ankle simply by rolling your ankle while taking a casual walk. Your ankles are under a lot of pressure as they support your weight while you stand and walk, so ankle fractures are very common injuries.
Immediately upon fracturing an ankle, you experience pain, swelling, and tenderness. If the fracture is severe enough, you might notice that your ankle seems to be at an odd angle or otherwise deformed. Since ankle fractures share most of their symptoms with ankle sprains, you should always get an evaluation and an official diagnosis.
Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine evaluates ankle fractures using imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans. Dr. Hood might also perform a stress test to determine if your ankle fracture requires surgery to heal properly.
If your ankle is stable enough after the fracture, you might not need surgery. Non-surgical treatments to help heal an ankle fracture and reduce pain include:
Dr. Hood at Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine regularly X-rays your ankle to view the progress of the fracture’s healing. If your fracture is particularly severe and not well-aligned, he can align the bone fragments with screws, plates, or rods during surgery to keep them in place as they heal. Surgery can also repair tendons and ligaments affected by a severe fracture.
Treatment times vary for ankle fractures, depending on the injury’s severity and the treatments involved. Generally, you can expect for it to take at least six weeks to heal entirely from a fracture, though it may take longer. In the case of a minor fracture, affected ligaments and tendons may take longer to heal than the fracture itself.
Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine gives you specific instructions to follow throughout the healing period. Dr. Hood may recommend physical therapy to help you recover fully and restore your ankle’s full mobility as it heals.
For top-of-the-line care for ankle fractures, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, or book an evaluation online today.