Can You Tell If Your Ankle is Broken or Sprained?

May 24, 2018

You might have taken a wrong step or suffered a nasty fall, but one thing is for sure – you are in a great deal of pain. You know that there’s some kind of issue with your ankle but you might not know exactly how bad it really is. It could be a sprain or it could be broken – and how you will proceed will depend upon the diagnosis. It is possible to tell whether your ankle is broken or sprained, at least at a basic level. You’ll just have to consider a few factors first.

How Painful is It?

Don’t misunderstand – a sprained ankle can hurt quite a bit. If you’ve never broken a bone, it might even rank up there with the worst types of pain you’ve ever felt. A sprained ankle, though, brings with it a kind of pain from which you can get relief. If putting an ice pack on the affected ankle for an hour or taking a few aspirins actually relieves the pain, there’s a much better chance that you have a sprained ankle than a broken ankle. This means you’ll be less likely to need to visit a local foot surgeon, but a visit with a Harrisburg podiatrist may still be in order.

Can it Bear Weight?

The biggest question is likely whether or not your ankle can bear weight at all. If you’ve noticed bruising near the bone and you heard a snap or pop, there’s a good chance that you are looking at a broken bone rather than a sprained ankle. If you are absolutely not able to put any weight on your ankle without falling down or going into incredible pain, there’s a good chance that your diagnosis of a broken ankle will be confirmed. At this point, it’s important that you look into visiting a specialist and to prepare for foot surgery.

Knowing the difference between a sprained ankle and a broken ankle might mean the difference between having foot surgery and simply visiting a podiatrist. It is important, though, that you follow up with a Harrisburg podiatrist no matter what you think the diagnosis might be. Though you won’t always have to visit our local Harrisburg foot surgeon, it’s a good idea to make sure that your ankle is stable and that you won’t cause any further damage. If you think your ankle injury might be serious, it’s important that you call our office today.

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