Can I Walk on Fractured Ankle?

You may develop a fracture in your ankle when a bone at or near the ankle joint breaks. Out of 100,000, 184 people sustain ankle fractures every year. When left untreated, an ankle fracture may lead to other complications such as arthritis. Besides, if your ankle is misshaped after an injury, the chances are high that you may even develop arthritis at one stage in life. Therefore, it is important that you seek immediate treatment and follow your doctor's advice. Many people have questions related to fractured ankles, and among the most common question is if one can walk on a broken ankle.

Can You Walk on a Broken Ankle?

It is usually very difficult to put weight on your fractured ankle and you should not put any weight on your broken ankle for the first few weeks at least (most commonly 6-8 weeks). Just walk with assitance and shifting weight to the good foot.

There are some other signs you experience after a fracture. For instance, you may notice pain and tenderness with swelling and significant bruising. You usually hear a 'crack' sound when you sustain an injury. If dislocation occurs, you will notice your ankle being in a funny shape. In case of a compound or open fracture, you will notice bone poking out of your skin.

Some people even feel dizzy or sick mainly due to the pain and shock of breaking their ankle. The problem is that sometimes the injury is not that severe, and only an x-ray will help determine the severity of your injury.Can you walk on a broken ankle and how soon can you walk? The severity of your injury will help make a decision in this regard.

How to Tell If Your Ankle Is Sprained or Broken

You notice immediate swelling after you have a sprain or fractured ankle. The major difference is that a sprain usually takes a week to heal, but a fracture will require immediate treatment and may take longer to heal completely.

Ankle sprains are more common in athletes and can range from mild to severe. You may experience symptoms such as swelling, pain, bruising and immobility. With a mild sprain, you may not notice any swelling at all. Swelling can be quite substantial though with severe cases of ankle sprains. It is almost impossible to put any weight on your affected foot.

In case of an ankle fracture, you hear a cracking sound, which is missing in case of a sprain. Your ankle is more likely to become deformed in case of a fracture – this does not happen when you have a sprain. Know that your ankle is broken when it is numb, pains a lot, and cannot bear any weight. If that is the case, be sure to see your doctor immediately because they are in the best position to answer your question like, can you walk on a broken ankle?

How to Treat a Broken Ankle

As explained above, you have confirmed if you have an ankle sprain or your ankle is indeed broken. The severity of your condition will help determine the right treatment option. When your injury is not that severe, you may notice improvement after taking plenty of rest, using ice pack, compressing your ankle, and keeping it elevated. Here are some more detailed treatment options:

1. Relieve the Symptoms

For pain, you can take ibuprofen or naproxen, but do not take them within the first 24 hours after injury or there may be an increased risk of bleeding. Also, talk to your doctor before taking these medications if you have other conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, or stomach ulcers.

2. Cast

Can you walk on the broken ankle? A proper answer to this question is to just don't try this. It is important to put your fractured ankle in a plaster cast for at least six weeks, otherwise crutches can helps. Your doctor may order X-ray and other tests to ensure your bone is healing properly. They may also replace your plaster cast with a relatively lighter cast.

3. Surgery

If you have a severe fracture, your doctor will recommend surgery. They perform the procedure under a general anesthetic and make an incision close to your ankle to put your bones back into position. They may use a combination of screws, plates, and wires to help keep bones in place. These metal plates and screws will stay inside your body unless they cause any problem.

4. Physical Therapy

After your surgery, your doctor may recommend working with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles and tendons. They will also help you learn certain skills to improve balance and motion, and explain how you can walk with the help of crutches or a cast boot. Your physical therapy will also help you with gait training – they share exercises to strengthen your foot and explain how you can walk better.

Sometimes, you also get a massage during your physical therapy session, which involves using a compression wrap, heat, or ice to reduce swelling. Your physical therapist will also help you learn certain skills that you can use when returning to your job. Can you walk on a broken ankle or jump with it? Keep in mind that you may have to wait up to 12-16 weeks before returning to sports and work activities.

 
 
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