Is your ankle painful? Do you think you may have fractured a bone in it? If so, the ankle stress fracture treatment outlined below can help you take the steps back to full recovery.

A Stress fracture is a crack in a bone, and it can be very painful. A stress fracture of the ankle is usually caused by repetitive stress to this part of the foot. It often occurs as a result of Sports injuries and athletic activity, but usually, heal themselves in a few months.

Stress fractures also occur in conditions that cause a decrease in bone mass such as; calcium and vitamin D deficiency, post-menopause, abnormalities in the bones of the feet. It can also occur in people taking medications such as corticosteroids and DMPA (Depo-Provera). A stress fracture normally heals itself with the correct treatment.

Ankle Stress Fracture Treatment

 

Initial Treatment

1. See your Doctor

  • If you think you may have an ankle stress fracture, you should see your doctor.
  • He/she will carry out a physical examination.
  • X-rays of your foot may be ordered. An X-ray will show whether your ankle is broken and the seriousness of any break. If the break is severe then s CT or MRI scan may also be done.
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements often are prescribed to aid bone healing.
  • Very severe stress fractures may require surgery.

 

2. Rest

  • When the fracture first occurs, you need to rest the affected ankle. Avoid the activity that caused the injury and reduces your daily activities, as much as possible.
  • Get adequate sleep. Most healing takes place while you’re asleep.
  • Elevate your foot as much as possible to keep weight and strain off it.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a walking cast to immobilize your foot. This depends on the degree of the fracture and your symptoms. A walking cast may be prescribed for a few weeks.
  • A splint, cast or walking boot are other ways that you can immobilize your affected ankle.

 

3. Pain Relief

Painkillers such as Paracetamol are effective in relieving the pain. Ibuprofen (an NSAID – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) helps ease the pain and also reduces inflammation. Consult your doctor if you need to take painkillers.

 

4. Ice

Ice treatment helps reduce swelling and relieve pain.

  • Apply ice packs, or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Do this 3-4 times per day for 24 to 48 hours after the initial injury.
  • Do not apply ice directly to your skin as it causes ice burns.

 

Walking Aids  

  • To keep the weight off your ankle, use crutches, knee walker scooter or a walking stick is necessary. Make sure you learn to use them correctly.
  • You can begin to fully weight bear about two weeks after the symptoms started.

 

Ongoing Treatment

  • Avoid the activity that caused the stress fracture.
  • If your stress fracture was caused by sporting activities, take time away from the activity for six to eight weeks.
  • Don’t begin exercising again too soon. This will only delay the healing process and may even cause further damage.
  • When you are ready to return to the activity, ease back into it slowly and gently so you do not re-injure your foot. Try some non-weight-bearing, low-impact activities, such as swimming, and progress slowly to your usual activities. If you do high-impact activities, such as running, progress slowly, and gradually increases time and distance.

Diet

Include lean meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables in your diet. These types of food contain protein, calcium and Vitamin C which aid the growth and repair of bone.

Most ankle stress fractures heal on their own but full recovery can take months. By following the ankle stress fracture treatment outlined above, you can help relieve initial symptoms and aid a quick and full recovery of your ankle.

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