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Thread: Possible broken ankle?

  1. #1

    Possible broken ankle?

    Hi, I have a HUGE swollen ankle that's probably twice the size as normal. My foot is huge and my leg is swollen all the way to the knee. I'm not sure if it's broken or not but wanted to ask some questions before I get it checked tomorrow. Is there anyway to tell if it's broken visually? How should this be treated if it is in fact broken? I don't want anything that will cause a pressure sore. Could this be a possible blood clot? Anything else i should have looked at that would cause this kind of swelling?

  2. #2
    There is no way to tell visually if it is broken. The swelling could be from a sprain or fracture. There is also the possibility that it might be cellulitis, since the swelling is not relatively localized. You need to be seen, either in the ER, where they can do X-rays or by an orthopedic surgeon. In the meantime, keep it elevated, and ice it. Try not to put any pressure on it, or as little as you can. CKF

  3. #3
    Can you get cellulitis without an open wound?

  4. #4
    If it is sprain or fractured what type of treatment is appropriate for this? Splinting like smashms said or something different? I don't want them to put me in something that will cause a pressure sore. Please educate me on options before I go so I can make sure I get the best care for me and my skin. Thanks!

  5. #5
    What a thing to happen, so close to your skin surgery! The best treatment for your ankle will depend on what kind of injury or fracture you have, and the specific location. X-rays and clinical examination will point the way. Bones can break in several distinctive patterns, and only imaging studies can tell what's what. As SCI-Nurse CFK says, have your ankle evaluated promptly by a specialist, and in the meantime keep it elevated and ice it for about 15 minutes every hour.

  6. #6
    Sounds like cellulitis to me... It can be hard to tell if you have open wounds around the nail beds on your toes.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    There are all kinds of splints from soft and molded to fit just you to removable hard braced splints plus the good old plaster that is now made with fiberglass. The biggie is getting a real diagnosis now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    I broke my leg right at the ankle back in Nov. both the tib/fib. I didn't know it was broken for a week, then "red fingers of death" started up my leg. It never did swell much more than mine swell anyway, so didn't do anything til the cellulitis hit. I didn't have any visual open wounds either, so not sure how it started. So if you see streaks, ER time.

    The Doc wanted to put a hard cast on me, I said no, and filled him in on sci skin issues. We settled on a knee high Fracture Boot, it is easy to remove for inspection, but it weighs about 4lbs and is a bear to throw around. He wasn't sure it would provide full immobilization so wasn't thrilled with it. But just got x-rayed last week and it is healing better than he thought it would. Still got a ways to go.

    On wednesday I finally get my CROW boot that will be muuuuch lighter, but a fully enclosed boot could cause trouble too. Damned if you do, yada yada....

  9. #9
    Sprained ankle! Boo!

  10. #10
    I was wondering how your leg was doing McDuff! Thanks for the update.

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