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Conditions We Treat: Ankle Fractures (Broken Ankle)

The ankle joint is made up of three bones: the tibia, fibula and talus. If you injure your ankle, one or several of these bones may break (fracture). Ankle fractures vary in severity and should be evaluated by a physician.

Broken Ankle Treatment: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

Dr. James Ficke looking at a foot X-ray

Foot and ankle expert James Ficke, M.D., evaluates an X-ray of a broken tibia and fibula.

  • Our orthopaedic specialists treat a wide range of ankle fractures, including fractures of the tibia, fibula and talus. They are also trained in treating complex, multipart fractures, as well as ligament injuries and avulsion fractures that occur when bone pulls off of a ligament attachment site.
  • Johns Hopkins treatment facilities offer comprehensive post-traumatic reconstruction with smooth transition into rehabilitation therapy.
  • Cartilage damage can sometimes accompany ankle fractures. Our team is working on innovative treatments for cartilage injuries to the ankle joint.
  • If you need surgery for your broken ankle, our surgeons will work with you to evaluate the optimal approach. We also work with anesthesia experts who can limit the need for general anesthesia through nerve blocks.
  • If the circumstances allow, our ankle experts can in some cases speed up recovery through physical therapy before the operation. Our team includes physical therapists trained in foot and ankle injuries and rehabilitation.

Ankle Fracture Treatment Options

Dr. Cosgarea examining a patient's ankle

Nonsurgical Options

Not all ankle fractures require surgery. The treatment depends on the location and number of fractures and whether the ankle is stable after injury.  A stable fracture means that the broken bones remain in alignment. This can be determined with an X-ray stress test.

Nonsurgical treatment for stable fractures typically includes immobilizing the ankle in a cast, brace or a boot. Your physician may also recommend avoiding putting weight on your broken ankle for a certain period of time.

Surgical Options

Most unstable ankle fractures, and occasionally stable ankle fractures, could benefit from a surgery. A surgery to repair a broken ankle usually includes aligning the bones followed by internal fixation (connecting the bones with screws, plates or wires).

Our Foot and Ankle Specialists

Whatever the cause of your injury, you can rely on the expertise of our orthopaedic specialists to help you manage your broken ankle. Is your ankle fracture a result of a sports injury? We have a specialized team of sports medicine experts who help athletes get back into sport. 

Foot and Ankle Specialists

Pediatric Specialists

Sports Medicine Specialists

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