By General Info
Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries involving bone and joint. Many people have difficulty distinguishing between an ankle fracture (broken bone) vs an ankle sprain following an injury to the ankle. In order to differentiate between the two, signs and symptoms must be considered, but it is difficult to rule out a fracture without the use of x-rays.
Broken or Fractured Ankle
A broken ankle involves fracturing one of the bones that makes up the ankle joint. This includes the tibia (the main bone of the lower leg), the fibula (the smaller bone on the outside of the lower leg), or the talus, making up the top of the joint. A broken ankle is considered to be any chip, crack, or break to any of these bones. Fractures can occur in a variety of ways but typically occur as a result of severe force to the joint, by rolling the ankle on the side, or even extreme flexing or extending of the joint. Signs and symptoms may include, but are not limited to, pain, swelling, difficulty walking, deformities of the bones around the ankle and bruising. Treatment of a fracture varies depending on the severity and type. It is best to consult with an orthopedic physician to discuss the options available to you.
Sprained ankles are extremely common, especially when it pertains to sports injuries. The difference between a broken ankle and a sprain is that there is no fracture, chip or crack in any of the bones in the ankle. In a sprained ankle, one or more of the ligaments that surround the joint have been stretched or torn due to some outside injury. The ligaments attach bone to bone in a joint and help provide stability. Depending on the severity of the sprain, an orthopedic doctor may treat it with immobilization, crutches, and/or physical therapy.
The physical therapists at Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute can help restore mobility and strength in the ankle for both fractures and sprains alike.