Ankle fractures can also be called fractured ankles. Ankle fractures affect people of various ages.
What is an ankle fracture?
A fractured ankle can be anything from one bone being broken which may not even stop you from walking around or several different breaks which may make your ankle misshapen and mean you cannot weight bear through that ankle for a substantial period of time whilst it heals.
The ankle becomes more unstable as more bones are broken and ligaments may also become injured.
What causes an ankle fracture?
There are a few different causes of an ankle fracture including:
- Rotating or twisting your angle
- Rolling your ankle over
- Falling or tripping over
- Direct trauma such as a car accident
What are the symptoms of an ankle fracture?
A small ankle fracture and a more severe ankle fracture tend to have similar symptoms so it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have an ankle fracture.
Common symptoms include:
- Inability to weight bear
How is an ankle fracture diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist can carry out a full ankle assessment to see if you have any fractures though usually medical attention is sought when the fracture happens so a physiotherapist will see you post-diagnosis for rehabilitation.
An X-ray scan can confirm diagnosis.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for an ankle fracture?
Depending on whether or not you can manage your fracture conservatively or whether surgery or plastering is required, different treatments can be used. You may not be able to weight-bear through your ankle and you may be immobile for a while meaning your ankle will become weak and stiff so physiotherapy is important to get you back to pre-injury condition.
Following assessment, your physiotherapist will create a treatment programme for you based on your symptoms and will choose the most beneficial treatment options from a wide variety. Your treatment methods used will depend on your symptoms and how you respond to the methods used.
- Strengthening exercises
- Gait re-education
- Balance exercises
- Range of movement exercises
- Ice/heat therapy
- Education for use of walking aids
- Graded return to functional/sporting activity
Benefit of physiotherapy for an ankle fracture?
Physiotherapy can greatly improve your recovery following an ankle fracture. If your ankle has been immobile in order for it to heal properly it will be very weak; it is important to adequately strengthen the ankle as any residual weakness can leave it susceptible to re-injury.
The particular benefits you feel following physiotherapy will depend on your original symptoms and your treatment goals.
Benefits of physiotherapy include:
- Decreased pain
- Quicker and safe recovery
- Increased strength
- Increased range of movement
- Prevention of injury re-occurrence