Can My Ankle Fracture Heal on Its Own?

Can My Ankle Fracture Heal on Its Own?

Ankle fractures happen unexpectedly but can profoundly impact your life and everyday activities. Although they range in severity, a broken ankle needs several weeks to heal appropriately and several months for a more serious fracture.

At Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, with offices in San Antonio and Alamo Heights, Texas, our team is ready to provide you with the treatment you need after an ankle fracture. If your symptoms require expert care, Dr. Marque A. Allen provides a quick evaluation and specialist treatment to get you back on your feet.

Signs of an ankle fracture

An ankle fracture typically happens after a traumatic injury, such as a fall or vehicle accident. However, you can also break your ankle by simply stepping off a ledge incorrectly or from direct impact during sports.

No matter how you injure yourself, you must know the signs of a broken ankle to know when to get treatment. Common symptoms related to an ankle fracture include:

If you have a severe ankle fracture, you may notice a deformity in your ankle where your bones are misaligned. A deformity is usually a sign of a significant injury, and you should seek medical care immediately.

Can your fracture heal without treatment?

No matter the severity of your fracture, you'll need some form of treatment to prevent complications. A broken bone won't simply heal by itself without some professional therapy.

With minor fractures, you may only think you have a sprained ankle, which doesn't always prompt you to seek care immediately. However, putting off professional fracture care can result in serious consequences like infections, foot deformities, and severe arthritis. These conditions can affect how you walk for the rest of your life after a missed ankle fracture.

Suppose you have symptoms of an ankle fracture, such as swelling that doesn't get better or significant bruising. In that case, you should seek help from Dr. Allen as soon as you notice the problem. Fast treatment helps prevent complications from your broken ankle.

Treatments to expect

If you suspect you've broken your ankle, the first step is to see us at our office for a thorough evaluation. Dr. Allen assesses your affected ankle and asks you about your injury.

Once he has a complete picture of your injury and examines your ankle, Dr. Allen orders an X-ray to determine the extent of your fracture. He might also recommend an MRI if he suspects damage to the other structures in your ankle from the fracture.

After determining the extent of your injury, Dr. Allen formulates a personalized treatment plan to ease your pain and help your bones heal properly. If you have a less severe or stress fracture, Dr. Allen provides you with a brace or cast to allow your bones to heal correctly.

However, suppose your fracture is severe and multiple bones or soft tissues are involved. In that case, Dr. Allen might suggest surgery to restore your bones to their normal positions and hold them in place while they heal.

An ORIF, or open reduction internal fixation, is the type of surgery Dr. Allen performs for ankle fractures. You'll need anesthesia for this surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Allen makes an incision at the location of your fracture. He then realigns your bones and puts in a plate and screws, or just screws, to hold them together while they heal.

After surgery, you'll be in a splint or cast for several weeks, which allows your bone to heal in normal alignment. You'll have several follow-up appointments with Dr. Allen during this time.

Call the Sports Medicine Associates office most convenient to you today to get care for your ankle injury. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Allen on our website.

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