Causes of Ankle Fractures

The ankle is a complex part of your body that has a significant role in your ability to stand, walk, and run. It’s made up of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. If there is an issue with your ankle, your feet, legs, and overall gait can suffer tremendously. Having alignment in your feet, knees, and hips helps keep your movement smooth. Without that, you can suffer from various kinds of pain from your feet to your neck. Most people think of ankle fractures as something that happens to those who play sports or are physically active. However, fractures occur all the time to people of all ages, sizes, and all activity levels. The causes of ankle fractures are often more mundane than you might expect.


What is an Ankle Fracture?

An ankle fracture occurs when one or more of the bones in your ankle break. Fractures can be partial breaks or complete breaks, depending on how severe the injury is. Ankle fractures often occur at the fibula or tibia. The fibula is the long, thin bone on your lower leg that runs parallel to your shinbone. The tibia is your shinbone, which runs parallel to your fibula. These tend to break due to twisting, rolling, or overextension.


Causes of Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures can happen to anyone, but they are most common among those who are older and more active. Numerous activities can cause an ankle fracture. Anything from a sports injury to rolling it while walking. Below you will find the most common causes of ankle fractures.

  • Twisting or rolling your ankle
  • Stress or impact from tripping or falling
  • Direct impact from an accident, for example, a car wreck
  • Injury from physical activity, for example, basketball


Symptoms of an Ankle Fracture

Because people have different levels of pain tolerance, and fractures can vary depending on the severity of the break, people can experience different symptoms based on their unique fracture. Below you will find some of the common symptoms of an ankle fracture.

  • Ankle pain, sometimes immediate and radiating
  • Difficult walking or bearing weight on your ankle
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling in your ankle and lower leg
  • Bruising on your ankle and lower leg
  • In severe cases, bones that break through the skin


When to Seek Medical Attention

It’s time to seek medical care if you cannot bear weight on your ankle, your pain persists or gets worse despite over-the-counter pain medication, and home remedies fail to reduce your pain levels.


In severe situations, you may need to head to the emergency room immediately. Below are some of the signs you should seek immediate medical attention.

  • Bones that are visible outside of your skin
  • Deformed ankle or foot bones
  • Inability to move your toes or ankle
  • Full or partial numbness in your ankle
  • Intolerable pain that cannot be relieved with over-the-counter medications
  • Cold or blue feet


Ankle Fracture Treatment

Ankle fractures are serious injuries that require medical attention. Depending on the severity of the break, patients likely need to have a cast. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to immobilize the fracture and set the break. Depending on the break and the person’s medical history, breaks generally require eight to twelve weeks for full rehabilitation.

Ankle Specialists in Southern California

If you have an ankle fracture, have recently been injured, or have recurring ankle pain, contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. They have several locations all over California, including Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Palmdale, and Westlake. They are skilled in treating foot and ankle fractures and pain caused by the injury. Contact Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. today for an appointment!