When Happens When My Child has a Broken Ankle?

An ankle fracture or a broken ankle is a normal condition faced by kids parents. It happens when one of the key bones of the ankle (fibula, tibia & talus) breaks apart. Normally among kids, the fracture is common in the long bones which are the tibia and fibula whereas the smaller bone, i.e., talus remains intact. Normally the growth plates are involved as far as the breaking of tibia and fibula is concerned.

If the issues are with the growth plate owing to fracture in the tibia or fibula, then immediate attention should be given because it can cause unequal growth or length of the bones. You can get bones/fracture checked by the orthopaedic surgeon for getting assistance.

The article is about a general understanding of a kids broken ankle or sprained foot. It shares what needs to be done what injury happen and what are the common symptoms.

Anatomy of the Ankle Joint

Three main bones make the ankle joint. Bones are linked with other bones with the help of ligament. The ligament is like a robe-like structure that connects the bones. To keep the joint stable, there are many ligaments within the ankle. The key bones in the ankle joint are:

  • Fibula bone which is the smaller bone within the lower part of the leg
  • Tibia, which is also called a shinbone
  • Talus bone, which is also called foot bone that acts as a hinge between the fibula and tibia bones

Back-end Causes for Ankle fractures

Twisting Force

During any sports event, sometimes foot or lower leg bone/joint twists or rupture leading to breakage of the ankle. Certain sports activities like jumping along with lateral motions including basketball put children at more risk of causing a fracture in their ankle. Often while playing, the child tends to either rebound, defend, shoot, or accidentally jump of other children’s foot; thus leading to rolling or twisting of the foot from either outside or inside.

Growth Plates

The body has long born which do not grow from the centre position. Such bones rather grow from the edge of the bones or ends. When a child grows, the growth plate becomes hard bones. Since growth plates are the last bone to become fully developed so these bones are more vulnerable to getting fractured. On the other hand, the ligament, which connects the talus bones are stronger when compared to the growth plates. That is why any twist in the bone leads to fracture among kids.

Among all types of fracture in the growth plates, this paediatric fracture accounts for 9 to 18 per cent of total fractures. Fracture in the hand and wrist are more common in kids age 10 years to 15 years.

What to look for in case of a Child Broken ankle?

First, you need to get an x-ray done to differentiate between ankle sprain, which is a severe form of ankle fracture. In the initial phase either fracture or sprain, both cause pain as well as swelling. When a child finds it hard to put pressure on the ankle which is injured. If the injury has been caused on open skin, then its time to take a child to a specialist immediately.