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How to Know if Your Ankle is Sprained or Broken

Sports injuries are extremely common, with a yearly number totaling over 3 million for athletic youths in the U.S., alone. This means an emergency room or doctor visit is not always a logical or frugal first choice, and most individuals choose to treat themselves at home after they sprain their ankle. Knowing when to see a doctor about an ankle injury is important and can save both time and further complications. The team at Kansas City Foot Specialists put together these signs to look for to help determine if it’s a sprained or broken ankle.

Related Read: Is My Toe Stubbed or Broken? 6 Tips For Assessing Your Injury 

Ankle Sprains Cause Less Pain

Ankle sprains are some of the most frequent sports injuries. Treating an ankle sprain at home is easy, and while the injury is uncomfortable, it usually requires no further attention than an ice pack and a wrap and is usually treated very conservatively. However, should a sprain occur higher up in the ankle, you should seek medical attention to be sure that you don't have a fractured ankle which is a more serious injury.

Broken Ankles Usually Can’t Bear Weight

Knowing the difference between an ankle sprain and a broken ankle is vital, as a broken bone can heal improperly if left for too long. A broken ankle typically bears no weight or causes a large amount of pain when moved. Another tell-tale sign is a large amount of bruising or pain to the bones on the side of the ankles. A broken ankle is also characterized by a noise (such as a "crack" or "snap"). Attempting to walk on a broken ankle is inadvisable, and can complicate the injury. As such, any signs of weakness or looseness near the site of injury could be indicative of a more serious problem that requires medical attention.

The best way to prevent sports injuries like ankle sprains and breaks is to wear proper footwear. If you think you may have sprained an ankle, call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact us online.