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What causes an ankle fracture versus and ankle sprain?

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When you stress an ankle joint beyond the strength of its elements, you injure the joint.

  • If only the ligaments give way and tear, you have sprained the ankle.
  • If a bone gives way and breaks, you have an ankle fracture.

From: Ankle Fractures WebMD Medical Reference

Author: Stephen J Wolf, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center. Coauthor(s): Erik D Barton, MD, MS, Associate Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Editors: Steven C Gabaeff, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine, Sutter Amador Hospital, Jackson, CA; Expert Consultant, Medical Board of California, Sacramento, CA; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Department, Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, VA.  




Ankle Fracture from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on March 14, 2019

Author: Stephen J Wolf, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center. Coauthor(s): Erik D Barton, MD, MS, Associate Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Editors: Steven C Gabaeff, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine, Sutter Amador Hospital, Jackson, CA; Expert Consultant, Medical Board of California, Sacramento, CA; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Department, Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, VA.  




Ankle Fracture from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on March 14, 2019

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What are ways you can fracture your ankle?

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