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The ankle joint is made up of three bones; the tibia, the fibula and the talus.  An ankle fracture involves a fracture of one (or more) of these bones. Multiple ligament stabilize and there may be ligaments damaged as well at the time of injury. A fractured ankle can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop you from walking, to several fractures, which forces your ankle out of place and may require that you not put weight on it for three months.


Treatment of an ankle fracture depends on whether the ankle is stable after the injury.  This will be determined by your doctor.  Often, surgery is required to fix the ankle fracture. 

Nonsurgical Treatment:

Some ankle fractures are stable and do not require surgery.  They may require a period of time of casting/bracing followed by physical therapy. 

Surgical Management:

For many types of ankle fractures, surgery is required.   The bone is realigned into a normal position and held in place with plates, screws or rods.  The body then heals the bone while it is held in this normal position. Surgery may be followed by a period of time (up to 3 months) of nonweightbearing on that leg. 

Smoking delays bone healing and I recommend trying to quit smoking.

To find out more information on Ankle Fractures, please visit the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.


Sara Zickuhr Designsist, south bay ortho