A sprained ankle is the most common musculo-skeletal injury and usually occurs by inverting, or rolling over on, the ankle. That motion can stretch or tear the ankle ligaments, usually on the lateral (or outisde) ankle. Depending on the severity of the sprain, there is immediate swelling and pain and often inability to bear weight. Fortunatley, most ankle sprains are successfully treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), use of a supportive brace, and, if needed, exercises to get the ankle back in shape. Occasionally, an ankle that has been injured several times may become chronically unstable and require surgery. For more information click here.
An ankle fracture, or a broken ankle, often occurs with a twisting or bending mechanism and results in immediate pain and swelling and usually inability to bear weight. There are 3 bones that make the ankle joint, and, while any one of them can be injured on its own--most often the fibula, or lateral (outside) ankle bone, often more than one bone is broken. Depengin on several factors, including the number of bones involved and the displacement (or shift in the position) of the bones, treatment recommendation may be for a surgical or non-surgical approach. Ankle bones usually take about 6 weeks to heal, although there may be stiffness, swelling, and discomfort for several months afterwards, which can delay return to normal activity. For more information please click here.