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Q. Can a metatarsal bone fracture cause an ankle sprain?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 09, 2022

Hello doctor,

I fell off a skateboard 2.5 hours ago and landed on my ankle, which got twisted by 90 degrees. It is slightly swollen, and the swelling is about one and a half inches in diameter on the outer side of my foot. It pains when I press the swelling and the edge of the malleolar and midfoot. I can walk without any significant pain, but my movements are limited. I can comfortably move it up and down, but not left and right. I also feel a sharp pain near the swelling when I wear socks. Is my ankle joint broken? Do I need an X-ray? Please help.

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern, and I feel sorry for such acute discomfort you are having. Therefore, I will guide you regarding your problem.

Thank you.

Thank you doctor for the reply,

I will follow all the instructions and take the required medications. Please guide me.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I saw the attached images (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). There is a swelling on the lateral aspect of the foot. I cannot appreciate any swelling on the lateral malleolus in the attached images. Inversion of the foot at the ankle joint might have stretched the ligaments and caused swelling on the outer aspect. This condition is called an ankle sprain. You have mentioned a decreased range of movement at the ankle joint. Sideways and circular movements are not possible because of the swelling. Sharp pain and swelling point towards bone involvement, but I cannot comment until you get an X-ray done. The X-ray will help rule out any minor fracture of the metatarsal bone. I suggest you get an X-ray done of the right foot with the ankle joint to rule out any bone involvement. Take rest and avoid activities that aggravate the pain and swelling for a few days. Apply an ice pack to the swollen area for one to two days as it helps reduce the pain. I suggest you take painkillers like Ibuprofen and apply pain-relieving ointment to decrease pain.

Thank you.

Thank you doctor for the reply,

The pain is getting worse, so I am going for the X-ray now. I will let you know once the X-ray is done.

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Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Please get an X-ray done to rule out any bony involvement. If possible, visit a nearby orthopedic surgeon as he can palpate the swelling and look for restricted movement and guide you accordingly. Did the swelling and pain increase any further? Let me know once you get your X-ray done.

Thank you.

Thank you doctor for the reply,

The X-ray showed no bony involvement but confirmed the sprain. I could not even walk after a few hours without crutches and could not sleep well at night because of the pain. It is getting better now, and I can walk slowly without crutches but still have restricted movement. The doctor recommended the tablet Aescin for the swelling, local analgesics, and a bandage for the first 24 hours. The doctor also suggested that I get an appointment only if the condition does not improve in a week. The doctor also told me to avoid sports activities for one week.

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Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the reports attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), I cannot see any fracture of the metatarsal bone. You need complete rest and avoid activities that put pressure on the foot. I suggest you take the tablet Diclofenac twice a day after meals for three days and apply Diclofenac ointment over the affected area. You can soak a clean cloth in warm water and apply it over the swelling to help heal the injury. Do not worry, as it will heal in a week, but you must avoid movements that increase pain during these seven days.

Thank you.


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