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When to visit an ankle fracture specialist

An ankle fracture is a common injury in the United States. About 4 to 5 million people visit emergency rooms for an ankle injury each year. Ankle fractures can happen either through a direct blow to the foot or by twisting the foot and ankle outward (which often occurs in contact sports such as football). These injuries often occur in men between 20 and 40 years old.

visit an ankle fracture specialist

When patients suffer an ankle fracture, they should go to the emergency room to evaluate their treatment options. It is often difficult to tell if a bone has been broken just by observing it from the outside, so tests such as x-rays are needed to confirm that a fracture has taken place. In some cases, if the fracture has poorly been displaced, a person may need to have surgery to reset the bone into its normal position. You should see an ankle specialist if:

  • You have a deformity in your ankle
  • You cannot bear weight
  • There is numbness and tingling around the injured area

The treatment for an ankle fracture depends on how severe it is but can involve surgery and casting or bracing. If surgery is required, the patient should immediately see a foot and ankle surgeon. When a patient does not receive proper treatment within a few days of the injury, it can lead to severe problems such as arthritis and long-term weakness in the ankle.

How to choose the best ankle fracture specialist for you?

Board Certified

The best ankle fracture specialist for you will be Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. You can check this when looking up doctors in your area. The best way to find a qualified foot and ankle surgeon in your area is to talk with your primary care physician or consult your local hospital’s website for referrals because they often have a list of physicians on staff who are Board Certified.

When to visit an ankle fracture specialist

Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner

You may also want to look for a foot and ankle specialist who is either a Physician Assistant (PA) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP) because they are often very well-trained in foot and ankle surgery. It’s best to avoid doctors who advertise themselves as general practitioners or family physicians because they do not receive an extensive foot and ankle surgery training.

Specialty Care Hospital

You want to choose a doctor who practices at a specialty care hospital certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Also, the doctor should have several years of experience in orthopedics before performing more complex procedures as explained here Ask your doctor how many ankle fractures they have treated in the last year or how many surgeries they perform per week. A good specialist should do at least 10 cases each month.

Emergency Room Visit

If you suspect that you might have an ankle fracture, it is best not to attempt to drive yourself to the emergency room. You should always go to the emergency room if you cannot put weight on your ankle, have a deep cut near your ankle, or suffer from severe pain. Suppose you feel any of these symptoms coming from the foot and ankle area. In that case, you must visit an emergency room as soon as possible for proper evaluation and treatment.

At best, you should visit an ankle fracture specialist within three days to receive proper treatment; if you delay seeing a foot and ankle specialist, the risk of having arthritis or long-term problems with walking or standing increases.

If you do not see any improvement after two weeks of non-weight bearing (splint, crutches), then there is a chance that you have a fracture that requires surgery. In these cases, it’s best to visit an ankle surgeon immediately so your bones can be realigned and stabilized as soon as possible.

In severe cases, the pain from an injury may be so severe that you can’t walk at all. You should go to the emergency room for proper evaluation in this situation. If the doctor suspects that you have broken your ankle, they will likely split it immediately and then send you to an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation.


So, if you have injured or fractured your ankle, it is best to visit an ankle fracture specialist as soon as possible so the bones can be realigned appropriately and stabilized. If you receive proper treatment within three days after an ankle fracture, then there is less of a chance that you will need further surgery down the road. It’s also essential that you see someone board Certified, has years of experience in treating ankle fractures and practices at a specialty care hospital. It’s best to avoid family physicians or general practitioners because they often do not have extensive foot and ankle surgery training.

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