Fractured Ankle & Numbness

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Of all bone and joint injuries to occur during physical activity, ankle fractures are among the most common. Injuries occur when too much stress is placed on the ankle joints. A sprain occurs if only the ligaments tear. When the bone gives way and breaks, it is called a fracture. Diagnosis of a fracture or broken bone over a sprain, dislocation, or tendon injury is difficult without a proper x-ray of the ankle. Always consult a doctor immediately to verify the cause of pain or numbness around the ankle.

Ankle Anatomy

Barefoot boy and girl (4-10 years) reading in canoe by lake, low section
(Image: Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Three bones come together to form the ankle joint. The main bone of the lower leg, the tibia makes up the medial, or inside, of the anklebone. The smaller bone which parallels the tibia is the fibula. The fibula makes up the lateral, or outside, of the anklebone. The bottom ends of both the tibia and fibula form an arch that sits on top of one of the bones in the foot, which is called the talus.

Numbness

ankle sprain
(Image: arztsamui/iStock/Getty Images)

According to MayoClinic.com, numbness is the loss of sensation or feeling within the affected body part. Numbness is typically caused by damage, compression or irritation to a nearby branch of nerves. When fracturing an ankle, the swelling can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause a loss of feeling in the ankle, foot or toes.

Seek Medical Attention For Numbness

Feet of man resting in chair
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Symptoms such as inability to move toes or entire ankle, deformity of the anklebones, or any numbness of the foot warrant seeking immediate medical attention. Keep the foot elevated with ice packs applied until seeing a physician. Do not to add any stress to the ankle by putting weight on it or continuing with exercise until a doctor has diagnosed the injury and prescribed proper treatments.

Treatment

Ankle feet & knee joint pain X-ray MRI photo film
(Image: alice-photo/iStock/Getty Images)

Treatment for numbness from a minor ankle fracture (one that doesn't require surgery) involves reducing the swelling. Immobilizing the ankle with a brace or wrap, ice therapy, elevation and rest are treatments used to reduce the swelling. If the ankle fracture is severe. surgery is required for the broken bones and potential nerve damage. According to the American Academy Of Orthopaedic Surgeons, broken bones could take up to 6 weeks to heal. Depending on the seriousness of the break, rehabilitation and weight bearing exercises like gently walking can be prescribed for recovery.

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