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Ankle Bone or Joint Injury

Lateral Malleolus Fracture Advice

Minute Read


Posted 1 year ago


Last updated: 03/12/2022


by James McCormack

How do you treat Lateral Malleolus pain?

There are a number of potential causes of Lateral Malleolus pain so getting the correct diagnosis is the most important aspect. Treatment under the guidance of a Physical Therapist is the best approach for the management of Lateral Malleolus pain. Following a clinical examination, a Physical Therapist will be able to determine if rehabilitation is the best form of treatment or if an MRI or x-ray is required to identify a potential lateral malleolus fracture.

Can you still walk with a Lateral Malleolus Fracture?

Yes, you can still walk when wearing an air cast boot with a Lateral Malleolus Fracture. Air cast boots are designed for walking short distances and this should be indicated by your pain levels. If your Lateral Malleolus Fracture is too painful to walk in a boot then try partial weight bearing using crutches, instead.

Picture of Aircast Walker boot for sprained ankle

How do you fix a Lateral Malleolus Fracture?

Most Lateral Malleolus Fracture is fixed by wearing a boot for 4-6 weeks. This is followed by 6 weeks of Physical Therapy which involves progressive strengthening, mobility, and balance exercises.

In some cases, such as an unstable Lateral Malleolus Fracture required surgical fixation followed by a period of Physical Therapy.

How long does it take for a Lateral Malleolus Fracture to heal?

In most cases, a Lateral Malleolus Fracture will heal in 4-6 weeks by wearing an air cast boot. However, for people with low vitamin D levels, or bone conditions such as Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, a Lateral Malleolus Fracture can take up to 12 weeks to heal.

How serious is a Lateral Malleolus Fracture?

A Lateral Malleolus Fracture is just as serious as any other bone break. It should be diagnosed by a Medical Doctor, placed in an air cast boot, or referred for surgery for unstable fractures. This is normally followed by 4-6 weeks of Physical Therapy.

Is the Lateral Malleolus easy to break?

There is no particular evidence to suggest that the Lateral Malleolus is any easier to break than any other bones in the foot and ankle however, it can occur from simple injuries such as an ankle sprain.

Scan of post operative ankle fixation

Does a Lateral Malleolus Fracture need surgery?

An unstable Lateral Malleolus Fracture can often require surgery. Surgical options can include an ORIF. As well as unstable fractures, a Lateral Malleolus Fracture that has failed to unite after previous conservative management can also require surgery.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Related Article: Lateral Malleolus Fracture: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

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