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What to Expect When You Break Your Ankle

Doctor wrapping ankleWith a sudden, unexpected twist, you hear a “pop” and feel a sharp pain in your ankle. The pain is intense and you can’t really put weight on your foot anymore because of the discomfort. You may have just broken your ankle—not a fun experience, to say the least. A broken ankle can be serious injury and feel overwhelming, particularly at first. Though it will take time, a full recovery isn’t difficult with careful treatment, and the process isn’t quite as scary if you know what to expect!

Ankle fractures are common injuries that happen when the bones that make up your joint get subjected to greater stress or pressure than they can handle. As tough as your bones are, they do have their limits. Once your ankle is broken, the first thing to do is have it evaluated to see how serious the damage is.

At your evaluation, you’ll have several X-rays or other diagnostic images taken to see exactly where the break is and the extent of the damage. If the broken ends of your fractured bone (or bones) are aligned correctly, your ankle will be casted or otherwise immobilized in a special boot to keep them securely in place. If the broken ends are not aligned, they will have to be manipulated back into place before you get a cast. Often this can be done without surgery, too.

Once your ankle has been casted, you’ll have to limit or entirely avoid putting weight on that limb for a while so the bones can heal. This may mean using crutches or other walking aids. Typically this stage lasts from four to eight weeks, though exactly how long it takes can vary depending on how serious your injury is.

When the bones have healed enough, you’ll get to have your cast removed and start walking on that foot again! This isn’t the end of your recovery, however. After an extended period of time being immobilized, your foot will most likely need physical therapy to restore strength, stability, flexibility, and range of motion to your joint.

Ankle fractures are big injuries, but they very treatable and not as scary as you might think. The right, prompt care can easily restore your foot to full health and get you back on your feet! If you’re at all concerned you might have broken your ankle, get it checked today. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas for an appointment by calling (702) 839-2010 or using our online contact forms.
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