Orthopedic Surgeons

ANKLE INJURIES

If you suspect your child has a broken ankle, visit the Fracture Care Clinic at one of our four convenient locations. At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, you never have to wait for long.

If your child needs surgery or casting, our Fracture Care Clinic is open every day and no appointment is necessary. Surgery rooms are scheduled every morning, so your child receives the care and attention they need right away.

Broken and Fractured Ankles

A broken ankle can be referred to as a “fracture.” This means one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. A fractured bone can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop your child from walking to several fractures, which forces the ankle out of place and may require your child not to put weight on it for a few months.

Simply put, the more bones that are broken, the more unstable the ankle becomes. There may be ligaments damaged as well. The ligaments hold the bones and joints in position. Three bones make up the ankle joint:

  • Tibia – shinbone
  • Fibula – smaller bone of the lower leg
  • Talus – a small bone that sits between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the tibia and fibula
The tibia and fibula have specific parts that make up the ankle:
  • Medial malleolus – inside part of the tibia
  • Posterior malleolus – the back part of the tibia
  • Lateral malleolus – end of the fibula

Symptoms

Because a severe ankle sprain can feel the same as if it were broken, every ankle injury should be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedic physician who specializes in the treatment of children to assure your child does not have an injury. Common symptoms for a broken ankle include:

  • Immediate and severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tender to touch
  • Cannot put any weight on the injured foot
  • Looks “out of place,” particularly if the ankle joint is dislocated as well

Diagnosis

If you suspect your child has a broken ankle, visit one of our Fracture Care Clinics at one of our three convenient locations. At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, we are open daily, and no appointment is necessary. After discussing your medical history, symptoms, and how the injury occurred, one of our board-certified pediatric physicians will carefully examine your child’s ankle, foot, and lower leg. If one of our physician’s suspects a fracture, he may order an X-ray exam to see if the ankle fracture requires surgery.

Treatment

Treatments for a broken ankle or broken foot will vary, depending on which bone has been broken and the severity of the injury. In children, fractures can affect the growth and development of the bones. This is because children have many bone growth plates, a part of the bone where bone growth takes place. Bone growth continues throughout childhood and if one of these growth plates is involved in a fracture, it may affect bone development.

Procedures for a Broken Ankle

 

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, one of our pediatric orthopedic physicians may need to use pins, plates, or screws to maintain the proper position of your bones during healing. These materials may be removed after the fracture has healed if they are prominent or painful.

Young Boy with a broken ankle

Boy with cast on his ankle playing video games.

Ankle X-ray

X-ray of an ankle.

Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.

Comprehensive services for children from birth through adolescence at four convenient locations: Arlington, Dallas, Frisco and McKinney.