How is it diagnosed?
Often, your doctor can diagnose a broken ankle just by looking and feeling, however they will commonly order an X-Ray to confirm the break and look for secondary breaks in the other bones.
When a fracture is subtle, or it involves the soft tissue (iligaments and muscles) around the joint, the doctor may order a CT or MRI scan of the ankle. Unlike an X-Ray, a CTs and MRIs give clear, detailed pictures of the soft tissues.
There are a number of vessels running around the ankle joint that are occasionally damaged. Usually, your doctor will assess any injury to these vessels from looking at and feeling your foot, however occasionally special tests called angiograms are required. Sometimes, a specialist called a vascular surgeon may get involved.
Could I have something other than an ankle fracture?
Conditions that may imitate an ankle fracture include:
- Ankle sprain : This is an injury to the soft tissues (ligaments and tenonds) around the ankle joint.
- Fracture in the other bones around the ankle, for example the talus or calcaneus