Ankle sprains and fractures are very common and can happen while we are going about our everyday business. Unfortunately, they can also be incredibly painful and inconvenient. There may only be slight noticeable differences between a sprain and a fracture, so it's important to visit an experienced podiatrist who can diagnose and treat you properly.

Ankle Sprains and Fractures

Our ankles are such an important part of our lower extremities, but unfortunately, it's far too easy to injure them. Ankle sprains and fractures are some of the most common injuries that we see in our Gastonia, North Carolina podiatry office.

Ankle Sprains

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, more than 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle to be stretched or torn. If not properly treated, ankle sprains could develop into long-term problems.

Symptoms of a sprained ankle usually include swelling, redness, warmth and pain.

Ankle Fractures

With ankle fractures, you have actually broken your ankle. Over the past 30 years, doctors have noted an increase in the number and severity of broken ankles, due in part to an active older population of "baby boomers," according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. There are three bones that make up the ankle joint and any of them could break as the result of a fall, car accident, or some other trauma to the ankle.

Symptoms of a fractured ankle can sometimes mirror those of a severe sprain, so it's important to visit an experienced podiatrist so you know exactly what's going on. Those symptoms include bruising, deformity, immediate and severe pain, swelling, tenderness to the touch, and the inability to put any weight on the injured foot.

How do I Know Whether My Ankle is Sprained or Fractured?

Depending on the severity of your injury, it can be pretty hard to tell. It also depends on how well you handle pain. This is a general checklist you can go through to try and figure out if your ankle is sprained or fractured:

Can you walk or put any weight on your ankle?

If the pain is horribly intense and you can't imagine putting any kind of weight down, it's may be broken.

Does your ankle looked deformed in any way?

Don't let swelling confuse you—that is different than an actual deformity, which would involve the ankle looking twisted or bumpy. If the ankle looks like it's more than just swollen, it could be fractured.

If bruising starts to occur, take note of where it is happening.

If your ankle is sprained, it will normally bruise beneath the ankle joint and may run along the foot. If your ankle is fractured, the bruising will surround the joint and may appear bluish in color.It may be tempting to self-diagnose and treat an ankle injury, but the fact of the matter is that it's very important for you to visit an experienced foot doctor. Your doctor sees sprains and fractures all the time and has the knowledge to make an informed diagnosis. They will also be able to create a treatment plan that will target your exact injury.

Treating Ankle Fractures and Sprains at Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

If you think you've sprained or fractured your ankle, we are here to help you. Unlike general doctors, we specialize in conditions of the feet and ankles, so you can be sure you're getting a professional opinion from an experienced podiatrist.

Our North Carolina ankle injury experts will evaluate your ankle to determine whether you're suffering from a sprain or a fracture. Depending on the severity of your injury, we may perform x-rays, apply compressive bandages or casts, or possible recommend surgery in more serious cases.

If you believe your ankle is sprained or fractured, contact Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists at 704-861-0425 to schedule an appointment. It's best to call as soon as you think you've been injured because any unnecessary pressure you put on your ankle may cause more damage in the long run.

Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054