Ankle Fracture

An ankle fracture can be very painful and inhibit mobility. It also can cause inflammation and bruising around the joint. In severe cases, people have reported immediate bone deformities around the ankle, including exposed bone. If nerves or blood vessels are damaged, the foot may become pale, numb, or paralyzed. Ankle fractures occur when a person places too much stress on the ankle, beyond what the ankle can handle. Ligament tears can occur along with an ankle fracture as a result of rolling the ankle, twisting the ankle, flexing or extending the ankle joint, or applying extreme force to the ankle (as in landing on it from high up). After a physician reduces the fracture by aligning the broken bones, he or she will most likely put a cast on the ankle and recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy rehabilitation for an ankle fracture may include assistive device training and gentle exercises to strengthen the knee and the hip, so the muscle groups that facilitate walking won’t become weak while the fracture is healing. Once the cast comes off, physical therapy will focus on rehabilitation of the ankle itself with an emphasis on improving gait, range of motion, and strength, while reducing swelling, and pain.