do not take ibuprofen until you have seen a doctordo not eat or drink anything in case you need surgery do not move or put weight on your ankle if possible
Treatments for a broken ankle
You'll usually have an X-ray to check if your ankle is broken and see how bad the break is.
If you have a very minor break, you may not need any treatment.
For a more serious break, you may need:
- a special boot to help support your ankle
- a plaster cast to hold your ankle in place while it heals
- the bones to be moved back into place by a doctor (they'll give you an injection to numb your ankle)
- surgery to fix the broken bones
You'll usually have follow-up appointments to check your ankle is healing properly.
How long it takes to recover from a broken ankle
A broken ankle usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal, but it can take longer.
The doctor will tell you:
- how long you'll have to wear the boot or have the plaster cast on
- how much weight to put on your ankle – you may be given crutches or a walking frame to help keep weight off it
Once it's healed, use your ankle as normal. Moving it will stop it getting stiff.
You may need to see a physiotherapist. They can help you with exercises to get your foot and ankle gently moving again.
Ask your doctor when you can return to contact sports or other activities that put a lot of strain on your ankle.
Things you can do to help during recovery
It's important to follow any advice you're given by the hospital or fracture clinic.
There are some things you can do to ease pain and help your broken ankle recover.
rest and raise your ankle whenever possibletake paracetamol or the painkiller your doctor has given you to ease pain gently move your toes and bend your knee while wearing the boot or cast to ease stiff muscles
do not get your plaster cast wetdo not carry heavy thingsdo not move your ankle too muchdo not use anything to scratch under your cast
Find out how to take care of your plaster cast
Call 111 or go to an urgent treatment centre if:
- the pain in your ankle gets worse
- your temperature is very high or you feel hot and shivery
- your leg, foot or toes start to feel numb or like they're burning
- your leg, foot or toes look swollen, or turn blue or white
- the plaster cast or boot is rubbing, or feels too tight or too loose
- there's a bad smell or discharge from under your cast