What is it?
A broken (fractured) ankle needs to be treated as soon as possible. It typically takes between six and 12 weeks to heal.
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. They may include:
- Pain, especially when you bear weight on the affected foot
- Tenderness when you touch the ankle
- Restricted range of motion
- Instability in the ankle
- Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury
If you have a broken ankle or broken foot, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Immediate, throbbing pain
- Pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest
- Difficulty in walking or bearing weight
- Ice. Use an ice pack or ice slush bath immediately for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while youre awake. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.
- Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Dont hinder circulation by wrapping too tightly. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.
- Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.
Things to watch out for
Most ankle sprains or strains are relatively minor and can be treated at home. Contact your GP if you are unable to move injured muscle or joint and the pain is unbearable.