The most common cause is when the joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion. It may be also be caused by trauma from:
- A motor vehicle accident
Problems may be:
- Ankle pain
- Bruising and swelling
- Problems putting weight on the foot
- Problems walking
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. You will be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect a break based on exam.
Pictures of the ankle will be taken to look for a break. This can be done with x-rays or a CT scan.
It may take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. The goals of treatment are to manage symptoms during this time. This may include:
- Medicine to ease pain and swelling
- A cast to prevent the ankle from moving as it heals
- Crutches to take weight off of the ankle as it heals
- Exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
Putting Bones Back in Place
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:
- Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
- With surgery—a plate, screws, or rod may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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