Determining if an injury resulted in a sprained or broken ankle is an easy decision if you know what you are looking for. Understanding the difference between reactionary pain and constant pain is the key. Reactionary pain is felt only when pressure is placed on the area. This means that there is pain when putting weight on the ankle that goes away when you relax the leg. In this case, it is more than likely to get a sprained ankle. A sprain occurs when a ligament is ruptured or stretched beyond what is normal. The other type of pain to look for is constant pain. This means that no matter how you lay the leg or what you do to ease the pain, it does not subside. The majority of the time, this type of pain signals broken ankles. A break is a fracture or separation of one of ankle bones.
Broken ankle symptoms begin with recognizing the feeling of constant pain. Swelling and bruising will also occur. Tendon ruptures or ankle sprains can be suffered in conjunction with ankle breaks. It is important to receive proper medical attention so treatment is prescribed for all the injuries. Common cases for an ankle break include car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or heavy weight being dropped on the foot. Stress fractures are also possible. This type of fracture is caused when the ankle is overused and cracks begin to form due to repetitive use. Long distance runners or persons who use their legs for powerlifting are common sufferers of a stress fracture. As Osteoporosis weakens the bones, it can also lead to fracture. This condition is the loss of bone tissue that causes fragile pores in the bones due to a lack of calcium.
X-rays are used to determine the exact location and severity of a fracture. This gives medical personnel the chance to provide the best treatment. The cast is the most commonly known treatment for healing a broken ankle. Depending on the amount of swelling, a cast can be placed immediately or the physician will allow for the swelling to subside a bit before casting. Made of plaster and fiberglass, a cast provides complete protection and holds the bone in place while it heals. If swelling requires rest before casting, a splint will be used. The use of crutches allows to remove all pressure from the injured area. Elevation is an important part of treatment and helps to limit swelling and minimize the risk for damage to the tissues around the injury. Anti inflammatory and pain medications can also be prescribed.
Wearing the correct type of shoe for the activity being performed is a great way to prevent ankle fractures. Athletes are encouraged to cross train to prevent stress fractures. Rotating a running workout with bicycling or swimming a few days a week is recommended. A diet that is high in calcium is recommended for those with a high risk or osteoporosis. These safety tips are all beneficial in reducing the risk for sprained or broken ankle.