Is my ankle broken or sprained quiz

If you suffer an ankle injury, it’s important to know whether your ankle has been fractured or sprained. This will determine the type of recovery plan you need to follow to get back on your feet as quickly and safely as possible. While sprained ankles are common and tend to heal on their own with rest and time, a broken ankle is more serious and requires medical attention to avoid complications that may lead to surgery or long-term effects.

There are signs that indicate if your ankle is sprained or broken, which this broken or sprained ankle quiz can help pinpoint.

Is my ankle broken or sprained quiz

How to tell if your ankle is broken or sprained

There are some key differences between broken and sprained ankles. These help to differentiate between the two injuries and will help you decide if you need to seek medical attention.

  • Pain: Sprained ankles usually cause a dull ache accompanied by swelling and bruising. On the other hand, broken ankles are extremely painful and don’t improve with rest. 
  • Swelling: A sprained ankle might swell, but it won’t increase in size or remain swollen for long periods. Broken ankles swell quickly and remain swollen for a long time. 
  • Bruising: Sprains don’t lead to significant bruising or discoloration, while broken ankles are likely to cause bruises that are severe and remain for a longer period.
  • Instability: Sprained ankles are less stable than broken ankles, meaning that movements that might have been fine with a sprain may be impossible after a break.

Sprained ankle

A sprained ankle is an injury that is characterized by stretching and sometimes partial tearing of the ligaments around the ankle joint. It most commonly happens when a person suddenly twists their foot and injures the ankle ligaments.

A sprained ankle often results in pain, swelling, and tenderness around the joint. It is also common for the joint to be unstable, which means that the ankle joint may feel stiff and it may be difficult to walk.

A sprained ankle often heals on its own without treatment; however, you can take steps to ease symptoms and promote healing.

There are many causes of a sprained ankle, including weak ligaments, a sudden movement (e.g. stepping in a hole), a person’s age (e.g. elderly people are more likely to sprain their ankles than people in their 20s).



While this is the first thing that most people think of, it is one of the last things that you should do with a sprain. The reason for this is that when you try to rest the area too quickly, it can put a lot of pressure on the rest of your body. This can lead to lots of other issues like causing pain in other joints or preventing your foot from healing. Instead, let the swelling go down before moving on to the next step.


You may have heard that it’s a good idea to wear a boot or a brace after a sprain, but it’s more important to keep the ankle elevated. Compression is good, but it’s even better to have your foot raised above the level of your heart.


You may have heard of this one as well, and it’s one of the best ways to reduce swelling after a sprain. Make sure that you apply ice for 20 minutes at a time and then give your foot a break – icing for too long can do more harm than good. - Elevation: This is a good thing to do in combination with ice and compression.


It’s helpful to wear a brace that supports the ankle and keeps it from over-extending.

How long does a sprained ankle take to heal?

For a grade 1 ankle sprain, the recovery time is typically 2 to 4 weeks. For a grade 2 sprain, it takes 4 to 6 weeks, and for a grade 3 takes 6 to 12 weeks.

Although sprains are generally considered minor injuries, they can be painful and inconvenient. The severity of a sprain depends on a couple of things. First, you’ll want to know if it’s a grade 1, 2, or 3 sprains.

Grade 1 sprains are the least severe and involve mild stretching of the ligaments. Grade 2 sprains are characterized by partial tearing of the ligaments, while grade 3 sprains involve a complete tear. Second, you’ll want to know the location of the sprain. Ankle sprains occur in 3 main places: the inside of the ankle, the outside of the ankle, and the joint of the ankle.

Broken ankle

A broken ankle is a break in one or more bones in the ankle joint. The joint is where the ends of the bones meet together to form a joint that allows the foot to bend and rotate. A broken ankle can be very painful and can limit movement.

Take the "how to tell if your ankle is broken quiz" at the top of the page. We've made it easy for you to figure out if your ankle is really broken or not.

Depending on the severity of the broken ankle, it may need to be treated surgically. A broken ankle is considered a medical emergency and should always be treated as such.

Major risk factors for a broken ankle include advanced age, obesity, joint instability, and joint deformity. Other factors can increase the risk of a broken ankle, such as participating in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball.


Soothing the pain

The first step to treating a broken ankle is to reduce the pain. While many people believe that a broken ankle can’t be treated with ice, that’s not true. Icing a broken ankle helps reduce swelling and pain.

Immobilizing the ankle

Once you’ve treated the pain, it’s time to immobilize the ankle. The goal here is to keep the ankle from moving while it heals. And while you shouldn’t rely on a stiff, hard cast, you should use a cast that keeps your foot completely still – except for the toes.

Monitoring swelling and pain

Both of these things are important to track while treating a broken ankle. Swelling is important because too much swelling can lead to blood clots and other complications. Pain is important because it can let you know that something isn’t right and you might need to change your treatment.

Broken ankle recovery time

The length of broken ankle recovery time will vary depending on the severity of the injury.

If your break is clean, meaning that all of the broken pieces are below the skin, you’ll likely recover in less than six months. A break that is not clean, on the other hand, can take much longer to heal.

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