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Symptoms. Broken ankle/broken foot

By Editorial Team (Y)
February 4, 2022

Broken ankle or broken foot risks

The following factors increase your broken ankle or broken foot risks:

  • Participation in high-impact sports: The twisting, direct force, and stress injuries that occur in hockey, football, gymnastics, tennis, ballet, skiing, snowboarding, and soccer can cause fractures of the ankle and foot.
  • Using improper equipment: Wearing shoes that do not fit or are worn out or the use of other faulty sports equipment can contribute to falls and stress fractures. Absence of stretching or failing to warm up before exercise can also lead to ankle and foot injuries, along with other improper training activities. 
  • Working in certain occupations: Certain working environments, like working on a construction site, can place you at increased risk for fracture due to dropping a heavy object on your foot or from falling from a high distance. 
  • Keeping your home poorly lit or cluttered: Walking around in your home when it is dimly lit or with pathways that are not clear may increase your risk of ankle and foot injuries. 
  • Having certain other medical conditions: Having other conditions, such as osteoporosis (fragile bones) or neuropathy (decreased sensation) in your lower extremities and feet can increase your risk of feet and ankles breaking. 
  • Being a female athlete: Athletes who are women are at risk for irregular menstrual cycles. They sometimes restrict their diet, which increases the risk of osteoporosis. These three factors together are sometimes known as the “female athlete triad” and may put these women at increased risk for ankle and foot stress fractures. 

Broken ankle or broken foot symptoms 

Signs and symptoms of a broken ankle or a broken foot include:

  • Throbbing pain that occurs immediately after an injury
  • Pain that is made worse with activity and improves with rest
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty putting your shoe off or on
  • Problems bearing weight or walking

Sometimes, people can hear or feel a snap or a pop when an injury occurs. As a result, they assume that a broken bone has occurred. However, a snap or a pop is not always an indication of a broken bone.

Broken ankle/broken foot causes

The most frequent causes of a broken foot or broken ankle include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: Crushing-type injuries that commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents can cause broken ankle or foot that need surgical repair. 
  • Trips and falls: Falls and trips can cause fractures of the bones of the feet and ankles. So can land hard on your feet when jumping down from a height several feet off of the ground.  
  • The impact from a heavy weight: Fractures of the foot and ankle can be caused by the weight of a heavy object falling onto your foot or ankle.  
  • Missteps: Simply placing your foot down wrong onto the floor or ground or twisting it as you step down can cause a fracture. 
  • Overuse: Stress fractures of the foot or ankle are common in the bones that bear weight. Stress fractures are tiny cracks. These are usually due to overuse or repetitive force, like that which occurs in long-distance runners. They can also occur when the bone is subjected to the normal force if the conditions such as osteoporosis have led to bone weakening.

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