How is a ankle fracture diagnosed?
After discussing your medical history, symptoms, and how the injury occurred, your doctor will do a careful examination of your ankle, foot, and lower leg.
If your doctor suspects an ankle fracture, he or she will order additional tests to provide more information about your injury.
X-rays are the most common and widely available diagnostic imaging technique. X-rays can show if the bone is fractured and whether there is displacement (the gap between fractured bones). They can also show how many pieces of fractured bone there are. X-rays may be taken of the leg, ankle, and foot to make sure nothing else is injured.
Depending on the type of ankle fracture, the doctor may put pressure on the ankle and take a special x-ray, called a stress test. This x-ray is done to see if certain ankle fractures require surgery.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
This type of scan can create a cross-section image of the ankle and is sometimes done to further evaluate the ankle injury. It is especially useful when the fracture extends into the ankle joint.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
These tests provide high resolution images of both bones and soft tissues, like ligaments. For some ankle fractures, an MRI scan may be done to evaluate the ankle ligaments.