Ankle Sprain or Fracture
It is estimated that 25,000 people in the U.S. suffer an ankle sprain every day.
However, the ankle joint can be also be fractured (broken), a more serious injury that may affect one or more bones, ligaments, and cartilage.
The ankle joint is made up of three bones:
- Tibia: shinbone, which holds most of your body’s weight.
- Fibula: smaller bone in the leg, which forms the lateral malleolus, the outer bump of the ankle.
- Talus: The top bone of the foot.
Ligaments provide connections between bones and hold the ankle bones and joint in position. Sprains are injuries to the ligaments and occur when ligaments are stretched beyond their limits and tear. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a sprain can weaken the ankle, increasing the likelihood of repeated ankle sprains and long-term problems, including chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ongoing instability. Symptoms of a severe sprain are similar to those of a fractured ankle, including pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and instability. An added symptom of ankle deformity or an out-of-place appearance may indicate a dislocated joint and ankle fracture. An ankle sprain or suspected fracture requires prompt medical evaluation by an orthopedic physician or specialty-trained physician assistant.
DOC is open seven days a week to provide immediate care. The DOC orthopedic surgeon or PA will diagnose an ankle sprain or break by performing a careful examination with gentle palpation and range of motion tests. He or she may order X-rays to show bone fractures and an MRI to reveal ligament or cartilage damage.
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