It’s fun to see children run around to play and be active, but parents can’t help but feel aghast when they see their kids fell and got themselves a broken ankle. An ankle fracture is a common childhood injury where the break is in one or more bones in the tibia, fibula, and talus region.


This happens when the ankles got fractured due to excessive play and sports activity that leads to accidents – especially that when the kid’s foot twists unexpectedly and in an unusual way!


Know all about ankle fractures in children and see what you can do to help relieve their pain!


What are the causes of ankle fractures?

We mentioned that high-strung activities can cause ankle fractures in children. Many of these do happen over falls, accidents, and excessive play.


Accidents through sports. Sports like basketball, soccer, or volleyball, especially those involving lateral movements can put children at risk for injuries. For an instance, a child may jump, turn, and spring to take a shot, and may cause the foot to twist. Accidents also occur when a child steps hard in another kid’s foot.


Twist or fall. Sudden and hard twist of the ankle while playing can cause fracture as well. A child might also fall somewhere in his surroundings especially when they’re not paying attention or circumstances where the area is haphazard. For example, a slip on the stairs, a hole that was never discovered, or an uneven roadside that can have your child trip.


Underdeveloped growth plates. Growth plates are the last bones to harden and it’ll take for children to reach adulthood until their growth plates become solid hard. For now, they are vulnerable to fracture. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, growth plates formed 9% to 18% of fractured children in hospitals.


Old injuries. Children with old injuries are more susceptible to ankle fractures because of their underdeveloped bones and their parts. Kids who tend to push their recovery while excessively play sports or do active events are prone to ankle fractures.


Signs and symptoms of an ankle fracture

Depending on the severity of the problem the symptoms of a fractured ankle can differ from one child to another. These are the common ones felt by children.


• Swelling and tenderness
• Instability when standing or walking
• Deformity of the ankle


Severe cases include the following and the parent should immediately call the doctor:


• Bleeding
• Foot is turning bluish gray
• Foot or toes become stiff and numb
• Pain and swelling from old injuries have returned
• Severe soreness
• Fever


Treatment for ankle fractures

When your child suffers from ankle fractures, it’s best to call the doctor and seek professional help. He or she will be doing a series of tests through x-rays, MRI, or CT where you get to know a detailed report of your child’s injury.


Afterward, the doctor may suggest physical treatment, painkillers, crutches, or ankle braces to stop the pain and prevent the injury from becoming worst. In severe cases, a surgery might be necessary to put the bones back together.


More so, doctors treat ankle fractures with a brace, splint, or cast. It helps keep the broken bone from stressing and moving while your child is in recovery.


How to manage and prevent your child’s injuries

As a parent, you can’t help but worry about your child’s health. But enough dilly-dallying. Here are ways you can manage your child’s injuries and prevent them from happening in the future.


• Let your child rest so he can recover and heal.
Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day.
• Elevate your child's ankle when he’s resting.
• Follow the doctor’s orders.
• Eat a healthy diet for faster recovery.
• If your child is going to exercise, follow closely doctor’s orders on how to keep his leg and ankle active.
• Ask your child to wriggle his toes to reduce atrophy or stiffness.
• If they are told to wear ankle support, buy the ones that offer quality support.


The takeaway

Fractured ankles are common in childhood, but that doesn’t mean you’ll just let it happen. Armed with the right knowledge and procedures, you can make this experience less hassle for you and your child. You can use the given advice above on dealing with ankle fractures in children.


The medical information on our website should not be treated as an alternative option to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. Please read our full medical information disclosure here.