Ankle Fracture

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

An ankle fracture is when 1 or more of the bones in your ankle break.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or orthopedist in 1 to 2 days:

Your fracture may need to be reduced (bones pushed back into place) or you may need surgery. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Support devices:

You will be given a brace, cast, or splint to limit your movement and protect your ankle. You may need to use crutches to decrease your pain as you move around. Do not remove your device and do not put weight on your injured ankle.

Splint and cast care:

Cover the splint or cast before you bathe so it does not get wet. Tape 2 plastic trash bags to your skin above the cast. Try to keep your ankle out of the water as much as possible.

Rest:

Rest your ankle so that it can heal. Return to normal activities as directed.

Ice:

Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover the ice pack with a towel and place it on your ankle or support device for 20 minutes at least 4 times a day.

Elevate:

Keep your injured ankle raised above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling. Elevate your ankle by resting it on pillows.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or orthopedist if:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your pain does not go away, even after treatment.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.

  • You have severe pain in your ankle.

  • Your foot or toes are cold or numb.

  • Your foot or toenails turn blue or gray.

  • Your splint or cast feels too tight.

  • Your swelling has increased or returned.

  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath.

  • You have chest pain or pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You cough up blood.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Ankle Fracture (Aftercare Instructions)

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