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What is a Broken Foot / Broken Ankle?

A broken foot or broken ankle occurs with the fracturing of one of the bones that surrounds or makes up the foot or ankle. This break can occur in any number of bones as there are a total of almost 30 bones that make up the foot and ankle complex.

What Causes a Broken Foot / Broken Ankle?

The causes of a broken ankle are from a force being applied to the ankle that is stronger than the bone or bones are able to withstand. This can be the result of similar causes as that of an ankle sprain, but the force was positioned so that it affected the bone instead of the ligaments in the area. These causes may include:

  • A twisting or rolling of the ankle and foot
  • Car accident
  • Direct trauma to the foot or ankle
  • Tripping or falling putting your foot and ankle into an unnatural position
  • High impact and contact sports
  • Weak surrounding musculature
Jogger hands on foot. He is feeling pain as his ankle or foot is

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How to Tell if Ankle is Broken | How to Tell if Foot is Broken

The only way to definitively confirm if you have broken a bone in the ankle or foot is through imaging techniques, starting with an x-ray of the area. After an initial consultation with your orthopedic surgeon, an x-ray will be ordered if a fracture is suspected. If it is confirmed that you have broken a bone in the foot or ankle, immobilization is key to allow for healing of the tissues. Surgery is not always required in the case of a fracture. But, if surgery is needed, the area of the fracture and ensuing type of corrective surgery will be determined by the severity and type of fracture that you present with. Your foot and ankle will be placed in the proper position in the case of a displaced fracture, and then will be placed in a cast for 6-8 weeks in order for healing to take place.

After a period of time and your doctor is confident that enough healing has occurred, your cast will be taken off and a course of physical therapy will be ordered to restore range of motion and strength of the ankle and foot.

If You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.
Female foot with ankle pain

How to Prevent a Broken Foot / Broken Ankle

Accidents happen, and broken bones can not always be prevented, but there are steps that you can take to protect the area of your foot and ankle and lessen the risk of a broken ankle or foot.
These steps include:

  • Stretch the musculature of the ankle and foot complex frequently throughout the day in order to maintain flexibility.
  • Strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle. Strength training will not only strengthen the musculature but the bones as well preparing them to withstand greater forces
  • Properly warm up before engaging in rigorous physical activity
  • Wear proper fitting footwear and replace shoes regularly
  • Start slowly with a brand-new activity and know your limits; take rest breaks when needed
  • Declutter your home to avoid unnecessary trips and falls
  • Stay hydrated

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Disclaimer: Please note all medical information contained within this website should never be interpreted as a diagnosis or recommendation of treatment. If a diagnosis is needed, contact Dr. Burke Orthopedics for a personalized consultation. Information shared in testimonials and reviews are specific to that particular patient and may not be representative of the experience of others.