Broken ankle/broken foot

A broken ankle or broken foot is a common injury. You may experience a broken ankle or broken foot during a car crash or from a simple misstep or fall. The seriousness of a broken ankle or broken foot varies. Fractures can range from tiny cracks in your bones to breaks that pierce your skin.

Treatment for a broken ankle or broken foot depends on the exact site and severity of the fracture. A severely broken ankle or broken foot may require surgery to implant plates, rods or screws into the broken bone to maintain proper position during healing.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

If you have a broken ankle or broken foot, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Immediate, throbbing pain
  • Pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Difficulty in walking or bearing weight
  • Problems getting a shoe on or off

Some people feel or hear a snap at the time of injury and assume that means something has broken. However, a snapping sound or feeling is not always a sign of a fracture.

When to see a doctor

See a doctor if the pain and swelling last for more than two or three days, or if pain interferes with walking.

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