WHAT IS AN ANKLE FRACTURE?
An ankle fracture is basically what we call a “broken ankle.” This means that one or more of the ankle bones are broken. There are two leg bones (the tibia and fibula) and one-foot bone (talus), which form the ankle. The most common type of ankle fracture is when the bone on the outside of the ankle (fibula) breaks. When a fracture occurs, the stability of the bone can become sacrificed, and the ankle may shift. This state is called “fracture dislocation” and may cause much more serious issues that need to be treated.
If you have experienced an ankle fracture and need treatment, Dr. Suzanne Levine and her team can evaluate the extent of your fracture and provide a procedure plan specifically for you. To learn more, contact Millennium Podiatry in New York, NY to schedule a consultation.
What are the SYMPTOMS of an ankle fracture?
Ankle fractures are divided into two main groups:
- Stable ankle fractures: The ankle joint remains intact
- Unstable ankle fractures: The ankle joint is dislocated
The symptoms vary depending on the extent of the injury. Extreme swelling and pain, in addition to the inability to walk, are major signs of a fracture. In surgical-emergency cases, the broken bone can pop out of the skin, or the swelling can cut off the blood circulation to the leg. Significant fractures may cause dislocation of the ankle. Less severe breaks may have mild pain/discomfort, and patients may be able to put some weight on their foot.
What CAUSES an ANKLE FRACTURE?
Most ankle fractures occur following an acute twisting injury, where the foot is planted on the ground, and the body rotates around it. Inversion injuries are also common, where the foot turns inward on the leg and fractures the outside ankle bone. Additional causes are slips, falls (especially when landing on one’s foot), and poor bone state.
"Dr. Levine and staff are absolutely amazing. I had several consultations with other podiatrists, none came close Dr. Levine or Dr. Ryan. Both do meticulous work. I had very painful bunions on both feet, Dr. Levine removed both and I barely have scars (seriously!). Kind, compassionate, and TOP in her field. My sister suffers from the same (painful bunions), and she lives over an hour and half outside NYC but she will ONLY see Dr. Levine for her surgery. I highly recommend 100%!!!"- Deb G / Google / Dec 10, 2020
"Dr. Suzanne Levine and her team are the best! I had a bad infection on my toe that looked dreadful. Dr. Levine treated it with a laser that was gentle, quick, and effective. After two treatments, my toe looked 100% better! I would definitely trust them with any foot issues in the future"- Jeffrey Greenstein / Google / Nov 20, 2020
"Dr. Levine and her team are real top professionals in the field of podiatry. I came here because of a misdiagnosed foot problem. Dr Levine identified the issue immediately. Also the office is state of the art and supper efficient!"- Kim Opiatowski / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"Dr. Levine, Dr. Ryan and the team at Institute Beauté provided the best podiatry services and overall healthcare experience I have ever received. From my initial consultation through both of my foot surgeries and follow-ups, I have had every question answered, every treatment clearly and patiently explained to me and am treated like family during every visit. Dr. Levine is at the top of her field and introduced me to innovative procedures that were able to correct foot problems I formerly thought I would struggle with forever. Correcting my foot pain has changed my life and I could not recommend Dr. Levine and her team highly enough."- Rebecca Schlacter / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"I knew from my consultation with Dr. Ryan that I was in great hands at Dr Levine's practice. He answered all my questions, putting any concerns at ease, educating and assuring me on problems and solutions. We were on the same page when I left the office and I felt confident to book the operations. I was treated for multiple ailments including bunions, flat feet, and crooked toes. Within a month, I can feel the difference in my arch and even the way I walk, not to mention how much better they look. The office is aesthetically glamorous, it gives me great vibes, and the girls at the desk are so sweet and accommodating. This is the place to go if you have any concerns about your feet!"- Brittany Beckett / Google / Nov 17, 2020
How is an ANKLE FRACTURE treated?
The type of ankle fracture treatment depends on the involved bone(s), fracture orientation, displacement, separation of the bones, the extent of damage, and the fracture’s/ankle’s stability.
The basis for ankle fracture surgery is to manually place the broken bone(s) in proper alignment. After, while bone healing takes place, we stabilize the fractured bones, often with screws and plates.
The location and orientation of the fracture generally determine the method and type of fixation used to fixate the bone. Stable ankle fractures can be treated without surgery by limiting activity until the bone has healed. Foot immobilization could be achieved by using either a boot or casts with (or without) crutches, depending on the severity of the fracture.
Most unstable ankle fractures benefit from surgery to stabilize the fractures and ensure that the joint heals in an anatomic position. With or without surgery, broken bones take 6 – 8 weeks to mend.
Ankle Fracture Treatment FAQ
What are the most common causes of an ankle fracture?
The most common causes of an ankle fracture include:
- Severe force applied to the ankle joint straight down (like jumping from a high level)
- Over-flexing or extending the joint
- Rolling the ankle (out or in)
Will I need surgery for a fractured ankle?
Most ankle fractures require surgery to place a plate with screws to stabilize the fractured bones and ensure the joint heals in an anatomically correct position.
How long does it take to recover from a fractured ankle?
The typical recovery time for a fractured ankle is about 6 – 8 weeks, during which time you may have to wear a boot or a cast. Normal activities can usually be resumed in about three months.
Receive Specialized Fracture Treatment
An ankle fracture can be both painful and lead to additional complications. If you have experienced an ankle fracture, it is important to seek evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. Contact our Park Avenue facility in New York, NY to learn more and to schedule a consultation.