Broken ankles can sometimes be slow to heal, so you must follow your doctor’s advice carefully. If someone else is to blame for the break, then you might be able to receive financial compensation.
How Broken Ankles Occur
Most breaks involve one of three bones in the ankle:
- The shinbone, also called the tibia, which ends at the ankle
- The fibula, which is the thinner bone, which also ends at the ankle
- The talus bone, which is a wedge-shaped bone that supports both the shinbone and fibula
Broken bones have many causes, with athletic injury being the most common. In fact, about half of all broken ankles are the result of an athletic activity. Athletes can roll their ankles, land awkwardly with their feet pinned beneath them, and have their feet stepped on. Any of these actions can cause breaks.
Other causes include the following:
- Heavy objects falling on your ankle
- Slipping or tripping and then falling on your ankle
- A sudden, traumatic impact, such as in a car or motorcycle accident
- Landing on your feet after falling from a considerable height
After one of these events, you might not know if your ankle is broken. Common symptoms include severe pain or swelling at the ankle joint, as well as tenderness and discoloration or bruising. If you cannot support your weight on your foot, then you might have suffered a broken ankle.
Treating a Broken Ankle
You can immediately treat a painful ankle by applying ice. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin but instead wrap an ice pack in a towel. You should also keep your weight off your injured foot.
Some breaks are “compound,” meaning that the bone penetrates the skin. In this event, do not push the bone back inside your ankle. Instead, cover the break with a clean towel and head to the hospital immediately.
Your doctor’s treatment can vary depending on the severity of the break and any complications. A doctor might need an X-ray, CAT scan, MRI, or other test to properly diagnose the break. Your doctor might put you in a cast, brace, or walking boot. Some breaks require surgery so that your doctor can properly place the bones.
To manage pain, you might receive a prescription painkiller or take over-the-counter medication. To help keep your weight off your ankle, you might use crutches, a knee scooter, or a hands-free crutch. Expected recovery is six weeks to three months, though this will vary based on the fracture.
Speak with a Broken Ankle Injury Lawyer in California
If someone is responsible for your ankle injury, you might be able to receive compensation. For example, a driver who struck you or a property owner whose hazard caused you to slip and fall might be legally liable for your injuries. If so, you can generally receive compensation for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At GJEL, our California broken ankle injury lawyers have been practicing for over 40 years, and we hope to use our experience for you. Contact us today by calling 866-249-2176. Initial consultations are free.