When talking about a broken ankle, most physicians are referring to a fracture in the area where the tibia and fibula meet. The tibia and fibula are two bones located in the lower leg. The tibia, most commonly known as the shin bone, bears most of the weight of the human body and is located on the front side of the lower leg. The fibula is located on the opposite side of the tibia, on the back part of the lower leg, and is generally smaller than the tibia. The area that both of these bones come together at the bottom of the leg and form a joint is known as the ankle.
When a doctor is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is normally referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankle fractures are common since they occur in an area that suffers a lot of stress and pressure from the weight of your body, and is therefore more inherently prone to suffering from fractures. If someone is suffering from a fractured ankle, the following symptoms may be present.
- Painful when touched or when any weight is put on the affected joint
- Swelling around the area
- Colorful bruising of the area in question
- Collapse of the area when weight is applied to it
- Area in question appears to be deformed
An ankle fracture can occur in many different ways. High impact sports that put extra pressure on the ankle, foot, and lower leg can cause ankle fractures. Rolling over your ankle is another possible cause of a fracture, as well as even something as unsuspecting as a fall. Direct trauma to the ankle, such as a heavy falling object, could also potentially cause a fracture.
If you suspect that you have a broken ankle, you should seek out appropriate medical care immediately. A physician will look at the area in question and may
request to have x-rays taken for a clearer picture of the injury. Casts, boots or splints are often used to provide protection and stabilize the injury. If severely broken, surgery may be needed in order to realign the ankle and, in some circumstances, pins may be placed into the joint to allow it to heal better.
The good news is that diagnosis and treatment often lead to good recoveries, but as with any foot and ankle problem, the sooner your receive treatment, the better.