What are the symptoms of a fractured ankle?

What are the symptoms of a fractured ankle

What are the symptoms of a fractured ankle?

Fractured Ankles

Ankle injuries are very common bone and joint injuries. An emergency such as a higher degree of pain, the inability to walk, or concern that bone may be broken may warrant an immediate need for medical attention. Often, the doctor’s primary concern is the same as yours. Is the bone broken? 

A sprain, dislocation or a tendon injury can be diagnosed easily. However, it is impossible to diagnose a broken bone or fracture without an X-ray of the ankle. 

The ankle joint is structured of 3 bones: tibia, fibula and talus. The tibia is on the inside and is the main bone of the lower leg. The fibula is parallel to the tibia but is smaller in size. It makes up the outside of the ankle joint. The far ends of the tibia and fibula are known as the malleoli (singular, malleolus). The tibia and fibula form an arch on top of the talus, the third bone.

The joint is encased with a fibrous membrane called the joint capsule. It is also lined with a smoother layer called the synovium. The synovium produces the synovial fluid, filling joint capsule and ensuring smooth movement of the joint surfaces. Several ligaments hold the bones in place and stabilise the ankle joint. 

Causes Of Ankle Fractures

Fractures occurring with simultaneous tears of the ligaments can be caused in several ways:

  • Twisting the ankle
  • Rolling the ankle
  • Applying severe force to the joint like jumping from a high level
  • Flexing or extending the joint

The ankle joint is injured when you stress joint beyond the strength of its elements. Your ankle is sprained if only the ligaments give way and tear. However, if a bone gives way and breaks, you have an ankle fracture.

Symptoms Of Ankle Fracture

Here are a few symptoms of an ankle injury or fracture:

  • Severe pain, which is often unbearable. The pain does not arise from exact area of the fracture. The pain in the ankle makes you unable to walk or stand up.
  • You may experience fractures of your foot, especially on the side of the small toe or the knee, that also causes pain.
  • Swelling due to soft tissue damage with possible blood around the joint. It may also be caused by fluid, most likely blood, within the joint itself. Blood in the joint is called hemarthrosis.
  • Black and blue bruising can be seen around the joint gradually. The bruising can track down toward the sole of your foot or the toes.
  • In severe fractures, you may see clear deformities of bones around the ankle, or you may see exposed bone. An underlying broken bone may stretch the skin over it.

If the blood vessels or nerves in your foot get injured, you may feel even more significant pain. It also comes with pale skin, numbness, or inability to move feet or toes.

When to Seek Medical Care

Several criteria can determine an emergency in an ankle injury case. The following symptoms are a few of them that can help you determine whether your injury is an emergency case or not:

  • You can’t bear weight on the ankle.
  • You experience severe pain, which is intolerable, despite taking pain medications.
  • Home remedies cannot reduce the pain. 
  • Gross deformity of the ankle bones
  • Bones visible outside the skin
  • Inability to move your toes and ankles at all
  • Partial or complete numbness in the ankle
  • Cold or blue foot

If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above or signs, you should contact your doctor and seek medical aid as soon as possible.

Exams and Tests

Like you, your doctor’s main concern while evaluating your ankle is to determine if you have a broken or fractured ankle. They also determine if your joint has been damaged enough to become unstable. Joint instability can mean multiple fractures, a fracture with a ligament injury, or a ligament injury alone. They may need to conduct X-rays, CT scans and other imaging tests for the best diagnosis. They will be able to determine the degree of damage to your ankles.

If you want more info about ankle fractures, get in touch with the experts at Germanten Hospital via www.germantenhospitals.com


Germanten Hospital has been one of India’s leading facilities for various medical treatments. Under insightful leadership, we have acquired excellence when it comes to treatments in neurology, plastic or cosmetic surgery, orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery. 

Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan has led our hospital to the forefront of the medical industry. He has experience of 20 years in orthopaedics. His alma mater is Osmania University, where Dr. Jawad achieved a gold medal for his excellence in education. He then completed advanced training in the Germany. 

Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan was awarded the “Best Doctor” by Shri Roshaiah Garu, the Former Gov. of Tamil Nadu and former CM of Andhra Pradesh. He was also felicitated with the Vaidya Ratna Award in 2019 by Shri Etala Rajendra, the honourable health minister of Telangana. In addition to that, Germanten Hospital also received an award of “Best Orthopaedic Hospital In South India” from the Economic Times Group in 2021. 

We have gained access to state-of-the-art medical technology and the latest advanced equipment, which has proven to be quite beneficial for our patients.