Ankle Fracture

ankle fracture

What is an Ankle Fracture?

A broken or fractured ankle is an injury to the bone. You may experience a broken ankle from a twisting injury from a simple misstep or fall, or from direct trauma during a car crash, for example. The seriousness of a broken ankle varies.

Ankle fracture happen to people of all ages, but are most common in adults ages 30 to 50. Ankle fractures often happen during sports or exercise. A bad fall at home or work can also cause this injury. Sometimes, a car accident or other type of trauma can cause an ankle fracture.

Ankle fractures may be partial or complete. The bones might overlap, shift out of place (called a dislocation), or break into many pieces (called a comminuted fracture). The ankle bones might also shift the joint out of alignment with an adjacent bone (called a dislocation). The severity of the break will determine how long it takes to heal and what type of treatment is needed.

The ankle is a complex joint where the bones of the lower leg (tibia and fibula) meet with the talus (ankle) bone in the foot. The ankle joint is held together by ligaments.

Causes of Ankle Fracture

A break in the ankle bone can be caused by:

Trauma to the ankle: Tumbling down stairs, falling from a height, or twisting the foot badly when you land on your feet after jumping. A broken ankle may also occur after a car accident.

Osteoporosis: This is a condition that causes brittle bones and increases your risk of fractures. Older people with osteoporosis are more likely to get an ankle fracture.

Animal bites may not be life-threatening, but they can cause serious injuries, infections and other complications. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by an animal, and dog bites account for most injuries.


The ankle joint is formed by the talus and the tibia and fibula of the lower leg. There are several ligaments that support the ankle and keep it stable when walking or running. There are also two strong tendons that connect muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, while the peroneal tendon connects the peroneal muscle to the outside of the foot. In addition, there are multiple other tendons that cross over the ankle joint.


Pain is the main symptom of an ankle fracture. You also may notice:

  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Tenderness.
  • Inability to put weight on the injured foot without pain.
  • A deformed appearance to the ankle or foot.
First aid for Ankle Fracture

Minor swelling and pain are common with a sprained ankle. You may need an X-ray if you have severe pain or swelling, if the joint looks deformed, if you have trouble walking or putting weight on it, or if you have open wounds near the injury. If you think you might have a broken bone in your foot or ankle, immobilize it with splinting materials and seek medical help immediately.

Please note that regular First Aid and CPR Training is the best way to make sure that you’re prepare in the case of an emergency. Book a course with us!

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