Broken Ankle Recovery Time

Broken Ankle Recovery Time: Different types of breaks require different amounts of time to get better. Find out how long your broken ankle will take!



Signs Of A Broken Ankle:

There are many ligaments & bones in the ankle that can be damaged.

  • A broken ankle is known as a fractured ankle.
  • This means one of usually 3 bones in the ankle joint are broken.
  • Not all broken ankles are the same.
  • Sometimes it could be a chip fracture that does not stop you from walking.
  • But a severe comminuted(debris like fragments) fracture could even lead to amputation!


Broken Ankle Recovery Time
If the ankle is broken it will need to be immobilized or be repaired with surgery. Find out below whether casting or surgery is necessary.


Symptoms Of A Broken Ankle:

1)A history of earlier trauma:

  • A recently twisted or rolled ankle.
  • Tripping or falling.
  • Severe impact & falling may cause it.

2)Immediate pain directly after the trauma:

  • Severe pain.
  • Swelling of the affected area.
  • Bruising.
  • Tender to the touch.
  • Inability to bear weight on the ankle.
  • Obvious deformity on the ankle.



Sprained Or Broken Ankle?

It is impossible to tell for sure if there is a broken bone. But some signs make a broken bone more likely:

  • Gross deformity.
  • Dislocation of the ankle.
  • Inability to move the ankle.
  • Cracking noise during the injury.


Broken Ankle Recovery Time
This is a definite broken ankle. No doubt about it!


Broken Ankle Swelling:

Swelling can occur with any ankle injury. It does not necessarily confirm that a bone is broken.

Swelling is common in:

  • Inversion ankle sprains.
  • High ankle sprains.
  • Deep vein thrombosis.
  • Lymphedema.
  • Venous insufficiency.


Broken Ankle Recovery Time
There is no way to know for sure whether this is a broken ankle or sprained ankle based on just the swelling pattern.


Broken Ankle X-ray:

  • An X-ray or CT scan is need to know the full extent of the break for sure.
  • It is impossible to be 100% certain whether an ankle injury is a fracture or not without it.
  • Even if it does not seem broken, an X-ray is usually still a good idea to make sure!


Broken Ankle Recovery Time
A break like this is usually obvious, but sometimes it is just a small chip fracture that may need to be confirmed!



Broken Ankle Cast vs.Broken Ankle Surgery:

1)Broken Ankle Cast:

  • The general rule is that if no bones are displaced or ligaments ruptured a broken ankle can be treated with a cast.
  • The downside is, if proper healing is not attained, arthritis may set in during the future.

Indications for a broken ankle cast include:

  • Non-displaced break.
  • Less that 1-2mm of displacement
  • Under 10 degrees of angulation deformity.
  • No ligament rupture.
  • No incongruity of the talar mortise.


2) Broken Ankle Surgery:

  • Surgery is usually needed if there is bone displacement or ruptured ligaments.
  • Without surgery there is a much greater risk of degenerative joint disease (ankle arthritis).
  • Mal-union & non-union of the fracture fragments are also very possible.

Indications for broken ankle surgery:

  • A displaced break.
  • More than 1-2mm of displacement.
  • Over 5-10 degrees of angulation.
  • Ligamentous rupture.
  • Incongruity of the talar mortise.
  • Widening of the medial ¬†or lateral clear space of the ankle joint.



Broken Ankle Walking Boot Vs. A Cast:

1)Broken Ankle Cast:

This is usually needed in more severe situation where the podiatrist does not want to risk you walking on the fracture.

  • Impossible to take the cast off.
  • Better compliance.


2)Broken Ankle Walking Boot:

These are usually dispensed in less severe situation. Theoretically if the patient does not take the walking boot off, this should have the same offloading & healing capacity.

  • They do come off.
  • Can take it off to shower.
  • Can take it off during bed.
  • Otherwise should not walk on it.



Broken Ankle Recovery Time:


Broken Ankle Physical Therapy:


Broken Ankle Rehab