Complications of a broken ankle or broken foot are uncommon, but may include:
April 24, 2014
- Arthritis. Fractures that extend into the joint can cause arthritis years later. If your ankle or foot starts to hurt long after a break, see your doctor for an evaluation.
- Bone infection (osteomyelitis). If you have an open fracture, meaning one end of the bone protrudes through the skin, your bone may be exposed to bacteria that cause infection.
- Compartment syndrome. This condition causes pain, swelling and sometimes disability in affected muscles of the legs or arms. Compartment syndrome usually occurs in high-impact injuries, such as a car or motorcycle accident.
- Nerve or blood vessel damage. Trauma to the foot or ankle can injure adjacent nerves and blood vessels, sometimes actually tearing them. Seek immediate attention if you notice any numbness or circulation problems. Lack of blood flow can cause a bone to die and collapse.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 13, 2013.
- Miller MD, et al. Essential Orthopaedics. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 13, 2013.
- Ankle fractures (broken ankle). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00391. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Toe and forefoot fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00165. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Stress fractures of the foot and ankle. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00379. Accessed Dec. 13, 2013.
- DeWeber K. Overview of stress fractures. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor. 2014. 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.:Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com Accessed Dec. 11, 2013.
- Once is enough: A guide to preventing future fractures. NIH Osteoporosis and Bone Diseases National Resource Center. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/. Accessed Dec. 13, 2013.
- Chen YT, et al. Update on stress fractures in female athletes: Epidemiology, treatment, and prevention. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2013;6:173.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2013.
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