An ankle injury can be one of the most frustrating experiences for an athlete. Once you injure your ankle it becomes more susceptible to future damage and injury and can often require a great deal of time to heal.  Even for non-athletes, ankle injuries can be devastating to work schedules and responsibilities at home.

If you have injured your ankle it is likely that all you want to do is quickly recover and get back to your normal activities.  To effectively begin treatment for your ankle injury you must first correctly diagnose the injury.  Only your physician can accurately diagnose an ankle sprain from an actual break. However, there are some signs you may also observe to indicate the nature of your injury.

Ankle Sprains:

  • Injury to the ligaments that join the bones of your ankle.
  • Only tender to the touch or painful when bearing weight in some areas of the ankle, but not the entire ankle.
  • You maintain some ability to walk on the ankle.
  • Mild or no swelling, that improves with ice and Ibuprofen.

Ankle Fractures:

  • Actual breakage of bones within the ankle joint.
  • You are in extreme pain.
  • Inability to walk immediately after the injury.
  • Your ankle will become very swollen and will likely not improve with ice or medication.

No matter what the status of your ankle injury it is important to visit your physician anytime that you injure and ankle and are experiencing pain that does not subside within a few hours.