Ankle Fracture Treatment
The treatment for an ankle fracture depends on type and the severity of the fracture. Some ankle fractures can be treated with a splint, but most ankle fractures are treated with a leg cast. Crutches help to reduce stress on the fractured bones. Severe ankle fractures require surgery to repair broken bones. Most ankle fractures heal in 6 to 8 weeks, but severe fractures may take longer to heal.
Treatment options for an ankle fracture may include:
- Apply a cold compress:
- Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
- Rest the ankle:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Use a walker.
- Use crutches.
- Elevate the ankle.
- Ankle cast or splint
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Surgery for ankle fracture
- Physical therapy for ankle fracture
For more information:
Ankle Fracture Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of an ankle fracture.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Ankle Fracture Specialist
Continue to Ankle Fracture Home Care
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- McKay GD, Goldie PA, Payne WR, Oakes BW. Ankle injuries in basketball: injury rate and risk factors. Br J Sports Med. 2001 Apr;35(2):103-8.
- Pugia ML, Middel CJ, Seward SW, Pollock JL, Hall RC, Lowe L, Mahony L, Henderson NE. Comparison of acute swelling and function in subjects with lateral ankle injury. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2001 Jul;31(7):384-8.