Do I Have a Broken Ankle?
Without an X-ray, it can be difficult to tell if your injured ankle is broken or just sprained. A broken ankle occurs when one or more of the bones that comprise your ankle becomes fractured. An ankle sprain, on the other hand, occurs when the ligaments that help secure the ankle joint in place are stretched or torn. Either type of injury can take place as a result of a sports injury, slip, fall, or traumatic incident such as a car accident.
Broken ankle symptoms
The symptoms of a broken ankle can vary according to the specific location and extent of the fracture. In general, symptoms may include:
- Sudden throbbing pain
- Tenderness and swelling
- Trouble putting weight on the affected foot
- A visible joint deformity
These broken ankle symptoms are also associated with ankle sprains, so you should still seek professional medical care to determine what is at the root of your ankle pain. While you’re waiting for your appointment, though, here are a few ways you may be able to tell the difference between an ankle fracture and an ankle sprain:
- Sprains may occur silently, while fractures sometimes cause an audible cracking noise.
- Fractures may cause numbness, while sprains usually don’t.
- Sprains may cause more pain around the soft part of the ankle, while fractures may be more tender directly over the front of the ankle.
The board-certified physicians at Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic provide world-class diagnostics and treatment to patients with broken ankles, ankle sprains, and virtually all other types of musculoskeletal injuries at our locations in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment. When you call, be sure to ask about our same- and next-day appointment availability.