Ankle fracture or sprain...

I realize that you all are not doctors. I realize that the only way to really confirm what is going on is to get x-rays. This is just to put feelers out there and see if anyone has had personal experience with this. I'm attempting to save myself an expensive trip to the doctor and expensive x rays that may not even be warranted.

I rolled my ankle on Saturday. Badly. When it first happened, putting weight on it hurt so bad I almost threw up. I was able to limp home and actually if I kept pressure on the balls of my feet instead of my ankle, it hurt a lot less.

I rested it, iced it, wrapped it-all the usual treatments. Here I am 4 days later...hurts to bear weight on it. I can't always wrap it because my shoes won't fit and at work, not having shoes is not an option unless I have a cast on.

It's purple at the bottom of my foot (a line-shaped bruise) and is very tender to the touch immediately around the ankle. Maybe it's just a really bad sprain? Nothing irks me more than going to the doctor, finding out it was exactly what I thought it was and then paying a bill to find out what I already knew.

Has anyone here ever broken their ankle, and if so, were you able to bear weight on it a couple days after? How could you tell the difference between that and just a bad sprain? What finally sent you to the doctor to have it checked out?

Thanks in advance.
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Replies

  • alysme
    alysme Posts: 81 Member
    Sprains bruise and go purple
    But I imagine breaks do too.

    Go to the doctor, you don't want to be wandering around on a broken bone.
    I'm very glad for the NHS.
  • cheshirecatastrophe
    cheshirecatastrophe Posts: 1,395 Member
    edited February 2015
    Go to the doctor regardless. Even if it's "just" a sprain, serious sprains are NOT something to mess around with. You can do long-term damage if you don't treat it right. At the very least, you can get a boot, aircast, or *something* to help you walk without crying inside.

    I'm sorry about the injury. That well and truly sucks. :(
  • amandarunning
    amandarunning Posts: 306 Member
    Could be either so the only way to know is to see a Doc and possibly xrays. Another vote here for our NHS as in such circumstances the cost isn't an issue - just getting diagnosed and fixed asap.
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    <---medical professional checking in :)

    I would highly recommend seeing a DR or going to a walk in clinic. Sprains can sometimes take longer to heal and if not treated correctly, you could potentially end up breaking a bone. ( I know that one from personal experience). Injuries suck...I'm sorry you got hurt. It sounds like a sprain...but could be a hairline fracture.

    I've sprained and broken my ankle several times. Ended up having to have a ligament repair surgery due to so many sprains.
  • KarenJanine
    KarenJanine Posts: 3,511 Member
    edited February 2015
    I've had a very bad sprain and damaged a ligament. I had it X-rayed the day after it happened (I was concerned as I couldn't put any weight on it without the ankle 'collapsing') but there was no fracture. I couldn't weight-bear at all for about a week and then only partially. It was about a month before I could walk on it.

    In an unrelated incident my Mum fell over and thought she had just sprained her ankle and never got it checked out because she could walk on it. She suffered for about 2 years with pain and finally a physiotherapist sent her for an x-ray which showed that she had broken it long ago. It had healed without correct support, hence the ongoing pain.

    Seriously, get it checked out - weight bearing is not necessarily an indication of whether it's broken or not.
  • MSeel1984
    MSeel1984 Posts: 2,297 Member
    Rats :(

    It was feeling better yesterday, so I wrapped it really good and took my dogs for a walk.

    It was a bit sore after but not bad. I wrapped it overnight and this morning it hurts a lot...this is probably the worst it has felt since the day I injured it.

    Plan is to go to Patient First tomorrow morning. :( Fortunately I have the first part of the day available so I can get it looked at.

    Will they do a hard cast for a fracture? :/
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    So to summarise...

    Four days, still swollen, bruised and too painful to walk on.
    You don't want to go to the doctor

    Ah even breaks will heal in time.... You may not like how it heals, and not getting it treated means that it'll take longer to heal, but at least you won't have had to go to the doctor.

    Sounds like a no-brainer to me...
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    MSeel1984 wrote: »
    Rats :(



    Will they do a hard cast for a fracture? :/

    Depends on the type of break. If its a compound break- most likely. If it is hairline fracture they may just give you an air cast. The last time I broke mine I was given a walking boot.
  • MSeel1984
    MSeel1984 Posts: 2,297 Member
    So to summarise...

    Four days, still swollen, bruised and too painful to walk on.
    You don't want to go to the doctor

    Ah even breaks will heal in time.... You may not like how it heals, and not getting it treated means that it'll take longer to heal, but at least you won't have had to go to the doctor.

    Sounds like a no-brainer to me...

    Touche.

    Especially given that I'm a distance runner...ignoring it doesn't make it heal more quickly...and if it heals incorrectly then I REALLY will have problems with running.

    I'm going in tomorrow morning since the first half of my day is open.

    Thanks for the advice, all.
  • alysme
    alysme Posts: 81 Member
    To be honest, if its as painful as you say.
    Why are you at work? Surely you're not productive? Would it be better to phone in sick/explain to your boss and go to the doctor/A&E?
    Your work would rather you are fit and healthy and productive.
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    MSeel1984 wrote: »
    So to summarise...

    Four days, still swollen, bruised and too painful to walk on.
    You don't want to go to the doctor

    Ah even breaks will heal in time.... You may not like how it heals, and not getting it treated means that it'll take longer to heal, but at least you won't have had to go to the doctor.

    Sounds like a no-brainer to me...


    I'm going in tomorrow morning since the first half of my day is open.

    Thanks for the advice, all.

    Good luck :) Keep us posted!
  • MSeel1984
    MSeel1984 Posts: 2,297 Member
    alysme wrote: »
    To be honest, if its as painful as you say.
    Why are you at work? Surely you're not productive? Would it be better to phone in sick/explain to your boss and go to the doctor/A&E?
    Your work would rather you are fit and healthy and productive.

    I don't get sick leave at work. And I'm seated a lot of the day doing education. It's painful walking back and forth to get charts, etc, but I do get to sit for part of the day.

    Tomorrow I have the first half of the day free and only one education in the afternoon...and an eye appointment. But I'll be able to get the ankle checked first thing.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    MSeel1984 wrote: »
    Especially given that I'm a distance runner...ignoring it doesn't make it heal more quickly...and if it heals incorrectly then I REALLY will have problems with running.

    Understand. Several years ago I skidded and rolled my ankle, then walked two miles and ran the last mile as walking was getting tedious. Took months for the torn ligaments to heal after that.
  • astrose00
    astrose00 Posts: 754 Member
    edited February 2015
    I broke my ankle in Sept. 2012. I knew it was broken when my foot was dangling by the tendons and detached from my leg. No brainer there! Oh yeah, and my knee was pointing north and my foot was pointing east! I was transported via ambulance and had surgery that night. A plate and 9 screws (and 80lbs, lol) later and here I am on a weight loss journey. Luckily, I have shed 51lbs of it so far...

    The issue you may have is that, if it really is broken, the bone will not fuse properly and you will either have issues with running (or even walking) or have to eventually have an even more difficult and expensive surgery to repair. You shouldn't play around with this. I have a dark complexion but I've never had discoloration from a sprain. You also may have torn a ligament which is arguably worse than breaking the ankle.

    My ortho surgeon told me I would likely have arthritis in my ankle when I get old. My physical therapist told me that there is a "time limit" on regaining mobility of the ankle. So if you let scar tissue form around this injury, your running days might be behind you. Even to this day, I cannot do a proper squat because my ankle is not as flexible as before. Bummer, because I love squats.
  • twiggy8459
    twiggy8459 Posts: 10 Member
    Get it checked out. A sprain can actually be worse then a break with healing time and pain.
  • astrose00
    astrose00 Posts: 754 Member
    The reason I had my surgery immediately was because the surgeon couldn't set it and cast it (it was detached totally) and said it would start to immediately heal wrong. He had hoped to do the surgery two days later but had to do it then.
  • Flab2fitfi
    Flab2fitfi Posts: 1,349 Member
    Good luck. Telling the difference between a break and a bad sprain is hard even for a doctor. Had a bad sprain that even the docs though was a break until the xray came back all clear. Once its healed its worth getting your gait analysed again as injury can cause it to change.
  • goddessofawesome
    goddessofawesome Posts: 563 Member
    Hopefully you went and got it checked out. FWIW: last April my husband rolled his ankle bad too -- sort of sounds like what you did. It was pretty huge by the end of the day so we went to the after hours clinic and he got x-rays. Turns out it WASN'T broken. It's been close to a year and it is still pretty swollen.

    Also we don't have insurance and the entire bill at the after hours clinic INCLUDING the 3 or 4 x-rays that were done was less than $300.
  • I agree with what everyone is saying. If you let the scar tissue build up then it will take over. This could seriously sideline any running/walking for a long period if left untreated. Sounds like you are in enough pain that you already plan on going in anyhow. When I messed up my foot I though I broke it but it was a sprain and I got an air boot for 4 weeks. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    All that said, Scott Jureck won the Hardrock 100 after spraining his ankle and taping it up with duct tape, when it was the size of a melon :)