A fracture occurs when one or more bones are broken and is usually caused by a sudden, forceful twist or hard blow top the ankle. Fractures may also be accompanied by torn ligaments. As with sprains, ankle elevation above the heart is very important.
In a non-displaced fracture, bones are broken and tendons and ligaments can be damaged, but the of the ankle bones relative to each other is normal. Pain, swelling and bruising can be moderate to severe.
Treatment: A cast is applied immediately or following splinting.
In a displaced fracture, one or more bones are broken and knocked out of position.
Treatment: Fractured bones can be repositioned without surgery (closed reduction) or with surgery to correct bone alignment (open reduction). After surgery, a cast is applied to keep the foot immobile during the healing process.
The Achilles tendon at the back of the foot is the strongest tendon in the body, but it can be injured by overuse or sudden exertion.
Overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause tendonitis – a swelling (inflammation) of the tendon. Achilles tendonitis often occurs when under conditioned”weekend” athletes push themselves too far, too soon. Rest and gentle movement may be recommended, but is some cases, your doctor may determine that a cast, heel lift or medication is necessary.
Occasionally, the Achilles tendon can break (rupture). The pain and disability make continued movement impossible. Casting and surgical repair may be necessary.