why does your broken ankle still hurt?

I broke my ankle about three years ago in a car accident. I followed all of the doctor's instructions as my ankle healed, but something didn't heal quite right. Two and a half years later, I was still having severe pain and my doctor couldn't figure out why. He suggested that I see a podiatrist to have it looked at more closely. It turns out that there is a lot more to an ankle injury than I had known. Scroll through my site to find out what can really happen to your ankle when it is broken and what could cause the pain to continue long after the injury is sustained.

Understanding Ankle Sprains And Fractures In Children


The Academy of Pediatrics reports that ankle and foot injuries are common among kids who play sports. Young athletes often experience injuries that include sprains and fractures; however, ankle pain can be mild or severe depending on the type and extent of the injury. Therefore, it helps to: be able to identify the symptoms; learn the immediate home-treatment steps you can take; and know when you should contact your child's doctor:

Recognizing the Symptoms

Your child may have an ankle sprain if he or she experiences symptoms that include:

  • Bruising

  • Swelling

  • Pain

  • Stiffness

  • Numbness or tingling in the foot or toes when first injured

  • Ankle weakness

  • Unstable ankle and foot

For a sprain that doesn't seem too serious, self-care measures may be enough to treat the injury. You can help by:

  1. Elevating your child's foot higher than the heart to decrease ankle swelling. Use several pillows to prop up the leg.

  2. Wrapping the ankle with a compression (elastic) bandage to immobilize the ankle, provide support, and reduce swelling.

  3. Applying an ice pack on the ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every three or four hours throughout the day to reduce redness and swelling. Do not place the ice pack directly on your child's bare skin. Wrap a thin cloth around the ankle first.

  4. Giving your child an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Follow the instructions on the ibuprofen label for correct dosage (based on your child's weight) and timing. If you give your child naproxen to reduce pain, swelling, stiffness, and redness caused by an ankle injury, follow the doctor's or pharmacist's instructions exactly for administering the medication.

  5. Having your child stay off the foot as much as possible for a few days. Rest gives the ankle time to heal.

A mild ankle sprain usually involves a stretched ligament. Pain generally is mild and your child is able to put some weight on the foot. However, breaking a bone or tearing one or more ligaments can be quite painful and requires medical attention. Your child may have a fracture if the area is tender to the touch or the ankle looks deformed.

Contact your child's doctor if he or she:

  • Has swelling that doesn't improve

  • Develops redness (a sign of increased blood flow) at the injury site

  • Is in severe pain

  • Is unable to move the ankle

  • Is unable to walk or put weight on his or her foot

Diagnosing the Problem

When symptoms persist or increase in severity, your child's doctor will order an ankle X-ray to determine if a broken bone is causing pain and swelling. Although an X-ray can usually identify bone fractures, an ultrasound or MRI may be necessary to diagnose a torn ligament or other soft tissue injury.

Your doctor may take an X-ray of your child's ankle no matter what type of injury he or she suspects. If injury occurs to the bone's growth plate, it could interfere with your child's normal growth and development. Growth plate fractures can occur when a child is injured playing competitive sports or engaging in activities like skateboarding, sledding, or riding a bicycle.

To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine.


3 June 2015