Treatments for a broken ankle or broken foot will vary, depending on which bone has been broken and the severity of the injury.
Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).
After your bone has healed, you'll probably need to loosen up stiff muscles and ligaments in your ankles and feet. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to improve your flexibility and strength.
Surgical and other procedures
April 24, 2014
- Reduction. If you have a displaced fracture, meaning the two ends of the fracture are not aligned, your doctor may need to manipulate the pieces back into their proper positions — a process called reduction. Depending on the amount of pain and swelling you have, you may need a muscle relaxant, a sedative or even a general anesthetic before this procedure.
- Immobilization. To heal, a broken bone must be immobilized so that its ends can knit back together. In most cases, this requires a cast. Minor foot fractures may only need a removable brace, boot or shoe with a stiff sole. A fractured toe is usually taped to a neighboring toe, with a piece of gauze between them.
- Surgery. In some cases, an orthopedic surgeon may need to use pins, plates or screws to maintain proper position of your bones during healing. These materials may be removed after the fracture has healed if they are prominent or painful.
- 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.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.