(732) 352-9270



Sprained ankle vs. broken ankle: PT experts reveal the differences you should know

Are you or someone you know experiencing ankle pain? It can be difficult to determine if your ankle pain is being caused by a sprain versus a break. Both of these conditions are fairly common.

In the U.S., about 2 million incidences of ankle sprain occur per year. This type of injury occurs when someone twists or rolls their ankle in an unusual way. It can usually be treated via the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Some of the most common reasons for ankle sprains or breaks include falls, sports and physical exercise, jumping, and preexisting injury or trauma.

Ankle breaks are also a common condition, with many people experiencing various kinds of breaks each year. Broken ankles are similarly caused by rotational types of movements; however, they can also be caused from forceful impact. Most people experience breaks from accidents during sports or physical exercise, vehicular accidents, and taking a misstep.

Ankle injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, sometimes from something as simple as taking a wrong step. Learn more about how to distinguish between ankle sprains versus ankle breaks, and why physical therapy could be a good option for those suffering from a sprain or break.


What are some of the differences between a sprained ankle vs. a broken ankle?

Although it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a sprained ankle from a broken ankle, there are a few key differences. If you’re experiencing ankle pain in conjunction with heel pain instead, click here to learn more. If not, here are some of the key differences between ankle sprains and breaks:



  • Cause minor pain and swelling.
  • Trigger mild bruising depending on the severity of the sprain.
  • Allow you to place some weight on the ankle.



  • Cause medium to high levels of pain.
  • Lead to extreme swelling and bruising.
  • Make it impossible to place weight on the injured ankle.
  • May lead to disfigurement of the ankle.


Find effective treatment for your sprained or broken ankle at Arrow PTR

Are you still unsure about the differences between sprained versus broken ankles and looking for treatment guidance? Do you have any other concerns you’d like to have addressed, but you’re not sure if physical therapy is the best treatment option for your specific needs? At Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, we offer free screenings geared toward answering your questions, discussing treatment options, and helping you find a solution to address your needs. Customized physical therapy plans can be helpful for people looking to restore ankle mobility and reduce pain.


Contact us today to schedule your free screening and to determine if physical therapy is the right option for you.

For more information, Contact Us Today.

Latest Blogs

These 3 physical therapy methods are top-notch for hamstring injuries

These 3 physical therapy methods are top-notch for hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes. Sports such as football, track and field, and especially soccer have a very high incidence of hamstring injuries. Hamstring injuries are the most common injury among soccer players,...

3 physical therapy methods that can ease torn meniscus symptoms

3 physical therapy methods that can ease torn meniscus symptoms

Meniscus tears are an injury that occurs when the shock absorbers located in the knee become damaged due to a sudden impact or a forceful twist. This is a more common injury than you might think. Studies have shown that 61 out of every 100,000 Americans have torn a...

4 ways PT can help boost your wrist flexion

4 ways PT can help boost your wrist flexion

Wrist flexion is part of the normal range of motion for your wrists. It describes the motion of bending your hand downward at the wrist and is the motion we use when writing, turning a doorknob, and styling our hair. In fact, there are many daily activities that...