Foot & Ankle Injury Treatment
Chipped Ankle Bone: Is My Ankle Broken or Sprained?
Chipped Ankle Bone: Is it possible to chip a bone in your ankle? What should you do if a chip does happen? Follow this guide to find out!
Causes Of A Chipped Ankle Bone:
A chipped ankle bone is possible but not likely in the way most people think it is.
- If a bone is chipped, it is usually within the ankle joint.
- This is usually a piece of cartilage with bone called an osteochondral defect.
- This is experienced in severe compression injuries.
- It is possible to have an osteophyte or enthesophyte on the outside of the bone.
- These feel like a “bone chip” but are still part of the bone.
Is It Possible to get a small bone chip on the outside skin of the ankle?
Yes, it is theoretically, but it is still doubtful and rarely seen.
- If you can feel bone formation on the outside of your ankle, it is usually a defect on the edge of your bone.
This is a picture of a fractured fibula. This is more than a chip!
Osteophytes are extra bone formation after irregular stress is placed on the bone.
- This is called an osteophyte (bone spur) which can happen in response to trauma.
- Osteophytes are possible around the ankle in response to trauma, arthritis, or previous ankle injury.
- It can also be an enthesophyte which is the calcification of a tendon.
- Enthesophytes are most common at the bottom of the foot as a spur or an Achilles tendon spur.
Chipped Ankle Bone Treatment:
The best course of action would be to go in for X-ray imaging.
- X-rays will show osteophytes & enthesophytes.
- It will even show a bone chip if possible.
- The only way to know how to treat this injury is to confirm exactly what it is.
- Depending on the joint, the region & the tendon of the extra bone formation: your podiatrist will develop a treatment plan.
- You should transition to a rigid ankle support brace after you are out of a cast or walking boot.
- If you are more of the sprained ankle variety, you may not need a cast or a fracture boot.
- These are our favorite braces.
- These stability braces are meant for when you immediately leave the immobilizing boot.
Ankle Physical Therapy:
- Physical therapy is definitely needed to optimize recovery.
- The dangers of not having physical therapy following an ankle fracture are the lack of joint flexibility.
- It is effortless to start walking differently to take pressure off your ankle, but the problem is that you keep walking that way even after the fracture heals.
- In our opinion, this is the number one reason for long-term problems. The joint contractures that develop can lead to knee, hip, and back issues that last a very long time.
- People may then need further surgery for those issues.
- Physical therapy can usually last for 3-4 weeks, depending on injury coverage and severity of the fracture.
What If I Have Pain 6+ Months Later?
- These are compression braces that should help you long-term.
- These are meant more for compression and fit rather than absolute stability:
Pain Relief Options:
- Consider menthol as an alternative to icing.
- Studies have shown that pain relief can last 2x as long.
- This is safer than long-term NSAIDs or other pills.
Get Great Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will ensure that there is pressure removed from your ankle and foot long-term.
- This is especially important if you are flat-footed and your foot starts to turn outward against the shoe’s lateral aspect.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for the best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.