Ankle Fracture
If your ankle bone breaks, this can be extremely painful and makes it difficult for you to walk. If you suspect your ankle is broken, contact us right away. Physical therapy offers an effective treatment for all fracture types, whether they require surgery or not. Through a custom treatment plan, you should be back on your feet in the shortest time. Request an appointment today to get started.
What is an Ankle Fracture?
An ankle fracture occurs when one or more bones of the ankle get broken. This can be very painful and debilitating. The ankle is made up of three bones; the tibia(shinbone), fibula, and talus.
Classification of ankle fractures is based on the area of the bone that is broken. Two joints are usually involved in ankle fractures.
Types and Severity of Ankle Fractures
The type of ankle fracture depends on the bone that is fractured. They include:

Lateral malleolus fracture

This a break in the bony bump of the fibula that is on the outside of the ankle. This is the most common type of ankle fracture.

Medial malleolus fracture

Only the tibia, which is on the inside of the ankle is broken.

Bi-malleolar fracture

This occurs where both the tibia and fibula are broken

Trimalleolar fracture

This occurs where the tibia, fibula, and posterior malleolus (back of the tibia) are broken.

The severity of the fracture is classified as:


The bone breaks, but still remains intact or in position


the bone brakes and the pieces shift out of position


multiple small pieces of bones are found in the fractured area

Complex fracture

soft tissue surrounding the bone is damaged

Compound fracture

the broken bone pierces the skin

Causes of Ankle Fractures
The ankle can get broken when too much pressure is applied to the joint. This could be from;
Although most fractures of the ankle occur suddenly, a bone can break due to repetitive stress over time. This type of fracture is called a stress fracture. Repetitive movements of the ankle can be seen in running, hiking, or unusual increased levels of activity.
Symptoms of Ankle Fracture?
Most ankle features are followed by a tear in the ligament (ankle sprain). Since symptoms may appear similar, it is important your ankle is evaluated to ensure that symptoms are actually from a fracture. If you have broken your ankle bone(s), you are might experience:
In severe cases, the broken pain might go through the skin. This is an open or compound fracture that requires urgent medical care.
Ankle Fracture Diagnosis
At Polygon PT, a physical therapist will evaluate your ankle, looking out for swelling, tenderness, and deformity. Your physical therapist will check if you can still bear weight on the affected leg. Your foot, alongside your lower leg, will be examined too, to check if they are affected. If a fracture is suspected, your therapist will require you to undergo imaging tests such as an X-ray with your doctor to confirm the location and severity of the break.
Ankle Fracture Treatment
Non-displaced ankle fractures most times do not require surgery. Your physical therapist will create a treatment plan for you. Your ankle will be put in a cast to limit movement so the bones can heal. Your therapist will prescribe gentle exercises to prevent stiffness. Once your cast is removed, motion and strengthening exercises are required to restore strength and flexibility to the ankle. For fractures requiring surgery, your therapist will help you before and after the procedure. Before the surgery, your therapist will require you to
After surgery, your therapist will create a post-operative rehab program for you. This treatment plan is aimed at promoting quick healing and complete recovery. It will take at least 6 weeks for the bone to heal, but longer for a complete recovery. The time for recovery depends on the severity of the fracture.
Get started with Physical Therapy for Ankle Fracture Today
Whether your fracture requires surgery or not, physical therapy is effective for getting you back on your feet pain-free. Request an appointment with one of our therapists right now.