Ankle Sprain or Fracture – How to Tell the Difference

Being able to recognize an injury helps you take the measures necessary to avoid further damage in your foot or ankle. Then, correctly identifying the injury is essential for ensuring that the proper treatment is administered. When two conditions have similar symptoms, such as sprains and fractures, this can be a bit difficult. Our Southern Tier office is here to help you!

The key difference between ankle sprains and fractures is the parts of the foot that sustain injury. Sprains occur when connective tissue is extended beyond its intended range. Fractures, on the other hand, are broken bones. It may seem odd that soft tissue and bone damage can have similar symptoms, but this is the case with these two injuries.

Symptoms that both share include pain (especially when it is worse during or immediately after activity), swelling, and bruising. In addition, these symptoms can all be experienced in the same area. Both types of injury can develop from the same root cause, too, which often involves landing on the outside of the foot.

Recognizing the difference between ankle sprains and fractures frequently comes down to the extent that bodyweight can be placed on the affected ankle. When you are unable to walk on the ankle following the injury, it is likely a fracture. If the ankle has been sprained, you will likely be able to place a certain degree of weight on it and still walk around. However, minor fractures may allow you to walk, too, which is why you should always have and injured ankle checked.

If you would like assistance in identifying which injury you’ve sustained, Southern Tier Podiatry is ready to help. We can provide an accurate diagnosis and then create an effective treatment plan for you. Contact our Greater Binghamton foot doctor office by calling (607) 217-5668 or taking a moment to fill out our online form today.

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