How To Prevent Ankle Fractures

How To Prevent Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures are one of the more common conditions treated by podiatrists. The severity of ankle fractures can range from tiny fissures in your bone to complex breaks that can pierce through your skin. Treatment options for ankle fractures are dependent on the location and the severity of the break and can include fracture boot or casting, crutches, pain relief medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Ankle fractures can happen to anyone, anytime, but people with certain health conditions and people with certain lifestyles are more susceptible to ankle fractures. Although they are not completely avoidable, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk and prevent ankle fractures.

Tips For Preventing Ankle Fractures

There are some things that put you at increased risk for ankle fractures including:

  • Certain Health Conditions- Decreased bone density associated with diseases like osteoporosis can make you more vulnerable to broken bones.
  • Smoking- Smoking can increase the risk of osteoporosis and the length of time to heal after injury.
  • Participating In Strenuous Sports- High-impact sports that involve sudden movements and frequent twisting and pivoting like football, soccer, and tennis can lead to an increased risk of fractures.
  • Sudden Increase In Activity Levels- A sudden increase in the frequency or duration of training or exercising can increase risk.
  • Improper Footwear And Equipment- Whether participating in sports or just walking around, loose or damaged shoes and equipment can lead to ankle fractures.

Follow these tips to mitigate your risk for ankle fractures:

  • Build Bone Density- Foods rich in calcium (like milk, yogurt, cheese) and vitamin D (like oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks) will strengthen your bones and make them less susceptible to breaking.
  • Clean Up- Keep clutter and tripping hazards off the floor to prevent falls that could lead to ankle fractures.
  • Watch Your Step- Some of the most preventable ankle fractures occur from very common missteps like misjudging a stair or stepping off a curb the wrong way. Put your phone away when walking and be aware of your surroundings to prevent avoidable ankle fractures.
  • Choose The Right Shoes- Make sure your footwear fits properly and choose the right shoes for the activity. And make sure to replace worn out, stretched out, or otherwise damaged footwear.
  • Train Properly- Start any new sports or fitness regimes slowly. Condition your muscles for the sport. Consider cross-training to build strength in various muscle groups. And warm up sufficiently before every workout. If you have suffered an activity-related injury in the past, ask your podiatrist about bracing or taping your ankle to prevent further injury and ankle fractures.
  • Build Ankle Strength- Exercises that focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your ankle can help you avoid ankle fractures.

Customized Ankle Fracture Treatment In NYC

If, despite your best efforts, you experience an injury to your ankle, the best first step is to see your podiatrist. Your foot doctor will assess your injury with a physical exam and analysis of your range of motion to determine if it is likely a sprain or ankle fracture. If your podiatrist suspects a fracture is likely, they will confirm with imaging tests. Once an accurate diagnosis is reached, your podiatrist can tailor a treatment plan to address your specific injury to ensure optimal healing and a return of function and mobility.

To learn more about how your podiatrist will address your ankle fracture, 
read Foot And Ankle Fractures: What Are The Treatment Options?.

The team of foot doctors at To Healthy Feet in Manhattan can expertly assess your injury to determine if it is an ankle fracture and develop a personalized treatment strategy based on the severity of your symptoms, your lifestyle, and your goals for treatment. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care and have the tools and technologies necessary to provide a variety of tailored treatment approaches including regenerative medicine, prescription medications, and even minimally invasive surgery (when needed) at each of our Manhattan Podiatry Clinics. If you are experiencing pain due to a diagnosed or suspected ankle fracture or any other foot or ankle condition pain, call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 1-917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street locations today.


Q: What is the difference between an ankle fracture and a break?
A: Nothing, a fracture and a break can be used interchangeably. They do not denote severity or location.

Q: Can I speed up the healing after a foot or ankle fracture?
A: Maintaining a healthy diet and refraining from smoking will help provide the bone with the best environment for healing but it typically takes bones 6-8 weeks to heal. Premature activity on a fractured bone can lead to long-term issues with structure and function.

Q: Why do some ankle fractures require surgery?
A: If the bone is out of place, it will not be able to heal properly. Making sure that the bone is put into the proper alignment is what allows healing to take place. If the bone is already in place, it won't require surgery. If it is out of place, surgery will be used to put it back in place.

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