An ankle avulsion fracture involves pulling away of tendon or ligament from the bone, usually tugging a small piece of bone along.
Avulsion fractures can occur in any part of the bone usually at the joints and the ankle is one of the usual spots for it to occur. Once the ankle is twisted or sprained, force is transferred through the ligaments and tendons, frequently on the exterior of the ankle. As an outcome, the ligament or tendon rips which causes a sprain or the tendon or ligament tugs forcefully on its bony connection point where it pulls out a small fragment of bone. An X-ray is required to determine if there is an avulsion. This is the reason why it is vital to get an X-ray after sustaining a moderate to severe injury to the ankle.
What are the indications?
The signs and symptoms of an ankle avulsion fracture are strikingly the same to an ankle sprain and it is difficult to pinpoint the difference with an X-ray or MRI.
In most cases, there is discomfort or pain right after the injury along with evident swelling of the area. Bruising might develop later and the individual is likely to have difficulty in moving or placing any weight on the affected ankle.
Treatment for ankle avulsion fracture
Even though treatment is relatively the same whether there is a sprain or an avulsion, it might depend on the severity of the fracture as well as its alignment. Remember that children are more likely to be provided with an alternative form of treatment for a fracture since their skeletal growth might be affected.
For a severe case of ankle avulsion fracture in a child, the placement of a cast is required for 6-8 weeks to allow the bone to properly heal. After this period, a phase of rehabilitation is needed to ensure that full strength and mobility are restored.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on an ankle avulsion fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications and management of avulsions, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.