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- Tibia (shin bone)—The main bone of the lower leg that runs along the inside of the leg
- Fibula—The smaller bone of the lower leg that runs along the outside of the leg
- Talus—The bone that provides the connection between the leg and the foot, and is less often fractured than the others
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- Decreased muscle mass
- Osteoporosis (common in women after menopause and in older, less active people)
- Any condition that increases the risk of falls, such as poor muscle control or poor balance
- Participation in certain sports, such as basketball, football, soccer, and skiing
- Being overweight can increase the risk of fractures and make rehabilitation more difficult
- Immediate pain (can be severe, but sometimes with fibula injuries, is surprisingly minor)
- Bruising around the injured area
- Tenderness when touching the injured bone in the ankle area
- Inability to put weight on the injured foot without pain, although some people are able to walk with minor fractures
- Putting the pieces of the bone back into position, which may require anesthesia and/or surgery
- Holding the pieces together while the bone heals itself
- A cast (may be used with or without surgery)
- A metal plate with screws (requires surgery)
- Screws alone (requires surgery)
- A rod down the middle of the bone (requires surgery)
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the ankle.
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Do weight-bearing exercises to build strong bones.
- Build strong muscles to prevent falls and to stay active and agile.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society http://www.aofas.org
British Columbia Podiatric Medical Association http://www.foothealth.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Ankle fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00391 . Updated September 2007. Accessed November 5, 2012.
Broken Ankle. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society website. Available at: http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-ankle/Pages/Broken-Ankle.aspx . Accessed November 5, 2012.
Chaudhry S, Egol KA. Ankle injuries and fractures in the obese patient. Orthop Clin North Am . 2011;42(1):45-53.
Scott AM. Diagnosis and treatment of ankle fractures. Radiol Technol . 2010;81(5):457-475.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013