Treat the fracture of the lateral ankle without surgery


Of the Outer ankle fracture is a fracture of the fibula on the lower leg. He is one of the so-called Ankle fractures and is the most common bone fracture in adults in the area of ​​the legs. The Ankle joint of the foot represents a joint between the lower leg and the foot Articulated fork our ankle is formed by the calf, shin and ankle bones. The Fibula is a bone that is located on the outside of the lower leg. It extends from the knee to the foot and forms our outer ankle.

The inner ankle is created by the Shin formed, which runs from the knee from the inside to the foot. The fibula is the thinner of the two lower leg bones, which is why the outer ankle fractures in the area of ​​the foot are more common. The entire ankle is through a front and back Tape apparatus connected, which gives it stability and mobility.

At a Outer ankle fracture the bone of the fibula loosens by sliding away from its normal connection in the area of ​​the foot. The lower tip of this bone often breaks away with an accompanying injury to the ligaments surrounding the fibula.


The typical mechanism of the lateral ankle fracture is the twisting of the foot.
The lateral ankle fracture is a common sports injury among footballers who are exposed to an increased risk of twisting an ankle due to their short sprints with stopping movements.
Other triggers can be uneven or slippery floors or obstacles such as stairs or curbs. A fracture of the outer ankle can also be caused by traffic accidents or heavy alcoholism with loss of control in the movement sequences, whereby the fixation of the foot with simultaneous rotation of the lower leg plays a decisive role.


If there is a fracture of the outer ankle, there is a strong, sharp pain in the area of ​​the outer ankle. The pain is aggravated by movement and strain and is greatest in the morning and evening. Affected people tend to limp with their injured foot. The pain associated with a fractured outer ankle is often accompanied by bruising and swelling in the area of ​​the foot.

More information on the topic: What symptoms occur when there is a fracture of the external ankle?

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Athletes (joggers, soccer players, etc.) are particularly often affected by diseases of the foot. In some cases, the cause of the foot discomfort cannot be identified at first.
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The diagnosis of an external malleolus fracture is made by the doctor by questioning the circumstances of the accident, clinically by the Examination of the foot and by making X-rays posed from two different perspectives. They provide a rough overview of the extent of the lateral malleolus fracture. For the exact determination of accompanying Ligament or tissue injuries are other imaging procedures, such as a Computed Tomography carried out.

The imaging also serves to classify the severity of the fracture of the lateral ankle, which in turn determines the therapy.Ankle fractures are classified according to the so-called Weber classification, which takes into account the height of the fracture and the ligament injuries involved.

  • Type Weber A: the fracture point of the fibula is below the ligamentous apparatus. The ligaments are thus intact.
  • Type Weber B: the break point is at the level of the tape. The ligament can be intact or damaged.
  • Type Weber C: the break point lies above the ligaments and is always associated with a ligament injury.


The first steps taken by laypeople in the event of a fracture of the outer ankle are to cool, elevate and relieve the affected foot. A doctor should definitely be consulted, because only he can determine the extent of the break and thus the necessary therapy through appropriate examinations and imaging procedures.

You can find more on the subject under: Therapy of an external malleolus fracture

If it is an uncomplicated fracture of the outer ankle without serious bone displacement, the attending physician will usually proceed as follows: He will straighten the affected joint by means of certain repositioning measures, immobilize it and, if necessary, prescribe pain-relieving medication. A lower leg cast can be used to immobilize the patient for a period of about six weeks. This conservative treatment of a lateral ankle fracture without surgical intervention is almost only possible for ankle fractures of the Weber A type.

In the case of a complicated outer malleolus fracture or severely displaced fracture ends, treatment is carried out by means of a surgical procedure. This is almost always the case with a Weber B or C break.

Read more on this topic at: Operation of an external malleolus fracture

Prognosis / healing time

The course and healing time of an external malleolus fracture depends on the severity. An uncomplicated fracture of the lateral ankle usually heals without consequences. Symptoms such as pain when exerted or numbness in the foot are possible, but these also disappear after a few months. Permanent dysfunction is rare.

Complicated outer ankle fractures are associated with longer pain and a more difficult healing tendency / healing time. Avoid contamination of the wound in the case of open fractures. Otherwise, this can lead to serious infections and lengthy, complicated courses of the disease.

You can find out more about the healing time of an external ankle fracture here.