Son broken ankle ?

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My son cracked his ankle with a cricket bat at weekend, he had an xray on monday and they said they cant tell if the fibula is broken, he said it looks to be a break but is unclear? He is now in a soft cast until next tuesday when we return to frature clinic for another xray.

He cant bare weight on it and hurts if he tries to move his foot up and down slightly.

Does anyone know why it was unclear on xray ?

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    It's not always clear to see a break on first X Ray hence waiting a week to take another. I hope he hasn't broken his ankle as its not a pleasant journey to recovery. I broke my ankle 9months ago requiring 3 screws and am still elevating, massaging, and bathing on a daily basis as its still swollen. If it is broken he will have an X Ray every couple of weeks to assess progress.

    I returned to work after 3 months due to financial reasons, and am on my feet 10-12 hours a day which doesn't do my ankle any favours, but making progress nevertheless. This forum has a great support network of people who have had different breaks and are at varying stages of recovery, and am confident that you will find out information should you need it

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  • Posted

    Hi Emma, unless the bone has snapped in 2 like mine is, it's often hard to see a fine line or hairline fracture. A man on this sight was recently told he had merely a sprain, but several weeks down the track, they finally believed he was immense pain and couldn't use leg, so re xrayed and it was broken. He's doing fine.

    Treat it as if it is broken at thus stage. R.I.C.E.=REST, ICE, compression, AND elevation. Lying down with foot above heart. All reduce swelling. Get Dr to prescribe panadol and anti inflammatories.

    By a soft cast do you mean a back slab- 3 rigid pieces sides and back, plus soft bandaging around rest?

    Use crutches or find a knee scooter. No medal for being brave here. Don't weight bare until you have it re x-rayed. Go back immediately if you have ANY concerns.

    X-ray never missed mine, Ambulance man did. I fell over again, unconscious due to pain and made it worse when I face planted.

    *prescribed pain relief

    *No weight Baring


    *CRUTCHES and or Knee Scooter. Wheel Chair if necessary.

    *For toileting phone a disability store or go back to hospital.

    He doesn't need to be in a position where he falls and does more damage.

    If his pain levels are getting worse go to hospital ASAP. They usually don't put a heavy cast on straight away due to swelling.

    Good luck mum and son.

    Young bones heal quickly. Time, patience etc??Healthy Food a must.

    Not sure of his age, but this is when iPads, ps4 or ps3, card games, and music very helpful! Books, comics and magazines too. Distraction.

    I'm 9months post snap, 4.5 post surgery for plates and 6 screws. Cracks heal better than snaps.

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  • Posted

    Mine was an unclear xray shot too (? Fractured lateral mallelous) and 5 weeks on I am in agony still! No cast no nothing. :-( twice back to the docs and now waiting on physio.
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    • Posted

      Gosh! Surprised to hear they haven't given you any support. A sprain can be worse then a fracture. Lets hope your physio migh help.

      fingers crossed for you.

      I have Achilles tendonitis Achilles bone spur pulled ligaments a lot of pain on my fibula joint my whole left foot and ankle cannot weight bear it just flips over. but they didn't think anything was broken. but they put a back slab of plaster on. Then a few days later i went to the fracture clinic and i have a Boot splint on for 3 months. can weight bear more now. and it keeps my foot from rolling inwards.

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    • Posted

      I can't weight bear or bend my ankle still. Hobbling round with my crutch. It still swells if I have had it down for too long

      Fingers crossed they didn't miss anything!! Will let you know!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Emma, your son could have what is known as an occult fracture. A occult fracture is simply a fracture that does not show up on a x-ray until the bones start to calcify after a few weeks. It could be that the fibula is broken, but not displaced , or a hairline fracture, also difficult to see on a x-ray. I suggest that he doesn't put weight on the leg until he has seen the doctor again, and has had more x-rays to make sure what the extent of the injury is. Pain is greatly due to injured tendons and ligaments and take a while, if not longer than a break to heal. Great advice posted by Tituscanby, on making your son as comfortable as possible, really try following it. If you son is young and does not have to have surgery, he should recover speedily. Hope it is not serious, good luck and please keep us updated.

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  • Posted

    More x-rays is a great idea! What supportive, kind and smart comments everyone has written here! Best of luck to your son. Getting laid up when you are active really tries the most optimistic of people. Please let him know he is not alone and there are people to reach out to when he feels frustrated. You are a good mom for doing all the research to find us. 
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  • Posted

    Thabk you for all replies ! Hes strapped up from toes to knees in a massive bandage, and is on crutches. He has alot of pain in outside of ankle (this is where the bat hit his ankle) and srangely in the top outside part of the fibula (under the knee to the side) .

    He was limping with his foot to the side (say limping but couldnt weight bare on it) before the bandage.

    He is 12 and at hogh school so doc said to keep him off until the xray next week. Im just puzzled as to why he couldnt be sure and scared if he bangs it and hurts it more.

    He tipped off bottom of a slide 3 yr ago and broke both bones in his arm, required surgery for wires and screws and potted for 12 weeks. The fall was very low impact. He said he heard a crack when the bat struck, hence my panick into what he has done this time round 😮 i have 4 children and he is always the one with injuries from his hectic sports life !

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    • Posted

      Poor lad. I'd certainly err to caution. My boys were always spraining ankles, never broken, but eldest broke right wrist. Just finished one school, last day. Aged 13. Got plaster off, started new school. First day. Exactly same place, other hand. Sent me home saying it wasn't broken.I had a big argument with radiographer, and said looked same as other break but different hand. Just got him back into school, and blow me down if they don't phone and say can you please bring him in to be plastered, his wrist is broken. I was still in school carpark!

      Don't let him get up unless to toilet. Don't move toes or any part until Dr, and Physio say so. Too dangerous.

      Keep us all in touch.

      Were a caring bunch!??

      Four kids, you'd be rushed off your feet! I have 3. Two have left home. Have a few grandkids, 1 just a bit older than yours at home. My only daughter.


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  • Posted

    Well bandage keeps coming loose so spoke to clinic and they suggested keeping it off but still to use crutches.

    Still no bruising but when you look at both feet together it looks swelled in a strange way. Swelling running down the side of the bone not actually where the bat hit? Wish i could post a pic.

    Cant believe there isnt any bruising ? Can put a little weight on it but not much.

    Roll on tuesday 🤔

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    • Posted

      I badly injured my left Ankle 2 weeks ago. I was given a Boot Brace to wear for 3 months! Am surprised they only bandaged it.

      At first they put me in a back slab plaster.

      Wishing you the best of luck.

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    • Posted


      It sounds like you didn't break it or I think you would have required surgery. I assume you are weight bearing and if you are it must be a bad sprain or a stress fracture. I am 3 months post dislocated and broken ankle surgery. I have been weight bearing for 3 weeks. Today was my first day walking without the knee high boot. Are you doing any physical therapy? Any pain or swelling?

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    • Posted

      Hi Carol

      I can only weight bear with the boot on.

      i have tarsal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, Achilles bone spur,torn ligaments.

      No not sent me for physio. I have to go back if i have any problems. All this has happened apart from the tarsal tunnel syndrome. is my second total knee replacement has made me slightly knocked kneed. and i have severe tendonitis behind the knee. because of this ive been putting to much strain on my left ankle and over time it just gave way.

      I hope your recovery well from your Ankle surgery. x

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