Foot health

06 November 2007

Ankle fractures

Fracturing, straining or spraining an ankle is one of the most common foot injuries.

The ankle consists of three bones: the talus, the tibia and the fibula. The talus sits inside a cavity formed by the other two bones and each one is supported and joined to the other by ligaments.

Any of these ligaments may be sprained or the bones may fracture.

What causes an ankle fracture?
Ankle fractures result when a direct blow or stress forces the ankle inward or outward past its normal range of motion. This can occur when a jumping or running athlete lands on an uneven surface. It may also occur when the foot is on the ground and the body gets twisted.

The ligaments that hold the joint in place are sometimes also damaged.

Symptoms of ankle fractures
Symtpoms of severe ankle fractures include severe pain, a popping sound or feeling of tearing, difficulty walking and swelling and bruising.

What you can do

Apply RICE:
Rest - slows down bleeding and reduces the risk of further damage;
Ice - eases pain, reduces swelling, reduces bleeding initially;
Compression - reduces bleeding and swelling;
Elevation - reduces bleeding and swelling by allowing fluids to flow away from the site of injury.

See a medical professional.

South African Podiatry Association (SAPA)


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