Have you ever wondered if you can still walk on a broken or fractured ankle? Generally speaking, walking on a broken ankle is not recommended. It can make the injury worse and slow down the healing process. It is important to seek medical attention to assess the extent of the fracture and determine the appropriate course of action.

How Long Does a Fractured Ankle Take to Heal?

Man on running path knelt over holding hurt ankle

The healing time for a fractured ankle varies depending on the type and severity of the fracture, as well as individual factors like age, overall health, and adherence to treatment recommendations.

A fractured ankle takes approximately six to eight weeks to heal. However, more severe fractures may take longer. Following your prescribed treatment plan, which may include immobilization, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, is essential during this healing period. 

What Does a Fractured Ankle Look Like?

Pair of legs joggin outside on concrete park path against the background of a rising sunIf you think you have a fractured ankle, look for:

  • Swelling: Significant swelling around the ankle joint is a common sign of a fracture. It occurs due to inflammation and accumulation of fluid as a result of the injury.
  • Bruising: Discoloration or bruising around the ankle area may indicate a fracture. The broken bones can cause blood vessels to rupture, leading to visible bruising.
  • Deformity: In some cases, a fractured ankle may appear visibly deformed, with a misalignment or unnatural foot and ankle bone positioning. This deformity can be apparent even without an open wound or exposed bone.

How to Know If You Have a Fractured Ankle

woman wearing leggings holding lower calf If you think you have fractured your ankle, seek medical advice immediately. Signs of an ankle fracture include:

  • Intense pain: Fractured ankles typically cause severe pain that worsens with weight-bearing or movement.
  • Difficulty bearing weight: It may be a sign of a fracture if you find it challenging to put weight on your affected foot or ankle.
  • Limited range of motion: Fractures can restrict the normal range of motion in the ankle joint, making it difficult to move or flex the foot.
  • Tenderness and swelling: Tenderness to touch and significant swelling in the ankle area are common signs of a fracture.

How to Treat a Fractured Ankle

woman joggig outside next to a lake

The treatment for a fractured ankle depends on the severity and type of fracture. In general, treatment options may include:

  • Immobilization: For stable fractures, a cast, walking boot, or splint may be used to immobilize the ankle and promote proper healing.
  • Surgery: In cases of severe fractures or if the bones are misaligned, surgical intervention may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bones using screws, plates, or other fixation devices.
  • Pain management: Medications or local anesthetics may be prescribed to manage pain during healing.
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy: Once the fracture has healed sufficiently, physical therapy can help restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to the ankle joint.

A fractured ankle can be distressing and painful. Still, most patients can expect a successful recovery with proper medical attention and adherence to treatment recommendations.  

Take Action for Your Fractured Ankle

The Foot and Ankle Specialists at Celebration Foot & Ankle Institute will help you better understand your fractured ankle, including whether walking is possible, the healing timeline, visual indications of a fracture, identifying the signs, and appropriate treatment measures. 

Request your appointment today and on the road to recovery for your fractured ankle.

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