How to Tell If Your Ankle is Broken or Sprained

broken ankle

We’ve all had an odd pain or a questionable ache in our bodies before, but this time it feels different. You’ve just landed on your ankle, but something isn’t right. Is it just sprained or do you have a broken ankle?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, but that’s where we come in. We’re here to tell you how to spot the difference between a sprained ankle and a broken ankle.

What’s a Sprain and What’s a Break?

If you’re like many, you may not know what the difference is between a sprain and a break.

In our bodies, our bones and our joints are connected by fibrous tissue called ligaments. When these ligaments stretch out or even tear, this results in a sprain. Fairly common sites for sprains are the wrist, your thumbs, your knees, and most commonly, your ankles.

Breaks although seemingly similar can get a little confusing due to differing terminology. Sometimes you’ll hear the term “fracture” or “crack” when discussing broken bones. So which is it?

It’s whichever one you like using more. Whether you call it a break, a crack, or a fracture, it’s all the same. This is because they all refer to interruptions within the structure of the bone.

Sprains are definitely the preferred option because breakages can lead to potential surgeries, casts, and depending on the severity, future medical issues. Breaks are also just more complicated seeing as how there are different types of breaks, but should you break something, your doctors will be the ones figuring that out.

Is My Ankle Sprained or Broken?

The issue with identifying whether your ankle is sprained or broken is that most often, they look about the same. Each case involves swelling, bruising, pain, and the inability to hold your weight on it. Because it’s so hard to decipher on your own, it is recommended that all ankle injuries should be checked out by a doctor or physician.

A for sure sign that you have a break is a deformity. Is your ankle facing a completely different direction? Does it seem almost detached?

If you simply rolled your ankle or had a misstep and you feel pain down there, the chances are that you simply sprained your ankle. But for anything more serious like a hard landing or a car accident be sure to visit your doctor.

Stay Careful

Our advice? Just stay careful. Broken ankles and even sprained ones are never fun.

Should you find yourself with an ankle injury, we here at Getwell Urgent Care are open seven days a week and even offer telemedicine appointments. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us now.