Ankle Fracture Treatment

Call 911 if the person:

  • Is bleeding uncontrollably
  • Has a numb, cold, pale, or blue ankle/foot
  • Is unable to move the foot
  • Is in shock (faint, pale, with rapid shallow breathing)

1. Leave Protruding Bone Alone

  • If a bone has broken through the skin, don't push it back into place. Cover the area with a clean bandage and seek immediate medical attention.

2. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply steady, direct pressure with a cloth for 15 minutes and elevate the wound. If blood soaks through, apply another cloth over the first and seek immediate medical attention.

3. Control Swelling

  • Remove ankle bracelets or toe rings.

If medical attention is not immediately available, apply RICE therapy:

  • Rest ankle by having the person stay off of it. Use crutches if necessary.
  • Ice area. Use an ice pack or wrap the ice in a clean cloth. Do not place ice directly against the skin.
  • Compress by wrapping ankle lightly (not tightly) with an "ace" bandage or elastic ankle brace. Do not try to align the bones.
  • Elevate ankle above heart level.

4. Manage Pain and Inflammation

5. See a Doctor as Soon as Possible

6. Follow Up

  • The doctor will examine and X-ray the ankle, leg, and foot. The doctor also may do a CT or CAT scan, or an MRI to determine if surgery is needed.
  • If needed, the doctor will set the broken bone back in place and immobilize the ankle with a splint, cast, or other device. Surgery may be necessary to repair the break.