The most common ankle fractures occur due to a fall, misstep or car accident. When individuals do not clear their property or place of business from hazards, they may be responsible for a person’s ankle injury.
While some ankle fractures heal independently, others can lead to a lifetime of problems.
Symptoms of an ankle fracture
After a slip-and-fall, you may have immediate, throbbing pain. Most people have difficulty standing following a broken ankle. It may be difficult to walk or bear weight on that leg. In severe breaks, you may notice an awkward twist to your ankle. Swelling, bruising and tenderness will continue to worsen over time.
Complications of an ankle fracture
A broken ankle can range in severity, both due to the nature of the break and the complications that may follow. Sometimes, trauma to your ankle will injure the blood vessels and nerves in your leg. Watch out for numbness in your leg or a lack of blood flow. If blood cannot travel to the injury site, your bone can begin to die.
Open fractures are severe breaks where the bone becomes exposed. In open fracture scenarios, bacteria can make it to the bone. Bone infections are serious complications common to open fractures.
Regarding long-term complications, some ankle injuries fail to heal correctly. Others may also extend to the joint and cause arthritis years after the initial injury.
In many cases, ankle fractures can heal in six to eight weeks. However, complications can cause chronic pain and other issues that last for months to years following the initial injury.