Dealing with a discreet fracture of an ankle
What can cause a discreet fracture of ankle?
There are many causes of a damage to the bones in the ankle, particularly in children and young people. The cause of the injury is important, as it may change the treatment and chance of recovery.
Injury caused by a twisting force
An ankle injury may be caused by a twist, particularly if there is some force or speed involved. In children and young people, twisting ankle fractures or breaks can occur in sports. This is most likely in sports such as netball or basketball, which involve a great deal of jumping and twisting at high speed. An unfortunate sporting collision can mean that an ankle is pushed onto one side with a great deal of force, causing a fracture or break.
Injury caused by a fall
In older people, a fracture of an ankle can be caused by an unexpected fall or trip. Falling from an everyday item, such as a kerb, stair or tripping over a rug can cause an unnatural ankle movement. In older people, one of the ankle bones may break or fracture under the stress.
Symptoms of a fractured or broken ankle
The first signs of a fractured or broken ankle are usually pain and swelling. It may be very difficult to stand or put weight on the ankle. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often also true of an ankle sprain. This means that people may not initially take the injury as seriously as they need to.
The main way to tell a sprain from a more serious fracture or break is to x-ray the ankle. A trip to the local emergency room is recommended, to make sure a doctor has the chance to diagnose the ankle injury and provide appropriate treatment.
Occasionally, a fracture or break can cause a protruding bone or a skin wound. These injuries should be seen by a doctor immediately. With any suspected ankle fracture or break, no weight should be put on the ankle until a doctor has confirmed the extent of the injury.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your doctor will use visual and physical examination as well as equipment and tests to establish the exact point of any fracture or break.
At first, your doctor will look for any swelling and bruising, abnormal bone or ankle shape, tenderness, tears or wounds to the skin and feeling and pulse in the ankle and foot. Then your doctor may use x-rays, an MRI scan or CT scan to look at the bones within the ankle.
Once the nature of the injury is known, your doctor will take appropriate action, often including crutches and follow up appointments.
If you have suffered a fractured ankle as a result of an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be able to claim compensation.
You can find out whether you have a valid claim by taking the unique 30 second online test at the Accident Advice Helpline website.
Alternatively, you can talk to the friendly and professional staff who man the AAH helpline on freephone number 0800 689 0500 – or from your mobile 0333 500 0993 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Date Published: 12th August 2013