How does our site make you feel?
Great   Indifferent

Ankle Sprains vs. Ankle Fractures

If you twisted or rolled your ankle, you may feel tempted to dismiss it as “just a sprain.” But there’s no “just” about a sprained ankle. And it might be more than that. Fractured ankles share many of the same symptoms as sprained ankles, but can lead to even poorer outcomes.

Podiatrist Michael J. Frazier, founder of The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center in Cypress, Texas, encourages you to take your ankle and foot pain seriously. If you’ve suffered an ankle injury, getting a thorough evaluation lets you know what damage you’ve done and how best to correct it so you can walk and play pain free again.

Wondering if you have an ankle sprain or an ankle fracture? Here’s how to tell.

It’s a sprain

Sprains are stretches or tears to the ligaments that stabilize your ankle. Ligaments attach your bones to one another.

Sprained ligaments tend to afflict young people more than older ones, but anyone can sprain an ankle. The reason they’re so common between ages 15-19 years is that that’s when people tend to be most active in sports. In fact, about half of ankle sprains in that age group occur during athletic events, such as a soccer or basketball game.

Whether you were jumping for a hoop or just climbing the stairs, if you sprain your ankle, you probably felt it pretty quickly. You may have even heard it: Your ligament may make a “popping” sound if it actually tears in two. 

Signs of a sprain include:

Even a mild (grade 1) or moderate (grade 2) sprain needs to be stabilized so you can go about your business. A severe sprain (grade 3) usually means that you have to wear a brace and use crutches until your ligament heals. Dr. Frazier may even recommend surgery to repair the tear.

It’s a fracture

When you twist, turn, or roll your ankle, or if your foot collides with a solid object, you may actually break your ankle. 

Your ankle joint consists of three bones:

The ends of the fibula and talus are the knobby parts that you usually think of as your ankle. But all three bones are part of your ankle, and any of them can suffer a break. 

Symptoms of a fractured ankle include:

Notice the problem? Both sprains and fractures share important symptoms. If your ankle is fractured you might also — but won’t necessarily — have visible bone or foot deformity.

It’s both

Yes, if you’re super unlucky or supercharged to win, you could sprain an ankle ligament and also break one or more of your ankle bones. 

Treating either a sprained, fractured, or sprained-and-fractured ankle is important to avoid complications, such as:

Find out if your ankle is sprained or fractured and get the relief and recovery you need by contacting us today. Phone our office at 281-607-1863 or use our online appointment form.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Foot Care Tips for the Winter

Our Texas winters may be short, but they’re chilly enough to keep your toes out of sight and out of mind for months. But you should never stop taking care of your feet. Here’s how to handle them through winter’s unique challenges.

Living With Gout in Your Feet

You know you’ve “made it” when you feast on steak, lobster, red wine, and dessert every night -- and then suffer the excruciating pain of gout. Though gout has a reputation as a disease of high status, it significantly lowers your quality of life.

Sports that Can Contribute to Achilles Tendon Pain

You don’t remember injuring yourself, but now the back of your heel hurts, and you can’t flex or point your foot. Certain sports and activities stress your Achilles tendon. Which of your favorite sports is actually your Achilles heel? Find out here.

4 Signs You've Sprained Your Ankle

You twisted your ankle a bit. You’re too active to slow down, so you try to ignore the pain. But your ankle could be sprained, and sprains can be serious. How can you tell if it’s just a twist or an actual sprain?

Is It a Plantar Wart or a Callus?

When you hear that you can get HPV in your feet, you think that someone’s pulling your leg. But the human papilloma virus (HPV) spreads easily through bare feet, creating tough callus-like patches on your foot called plantar warts.

Which Treatment Option Is Best for Your Bunion?

Your bunion is getting bigger. Either that or your shoes are getting smaller. Well, you know it’s the bunion. Would changing to more practical shoes make your bunion go away? Unfortunately, it won’t.