Ankle Cast

When You Need to Wear Ankle Cast


If you are reading about an ankle cast, then it is likely that either you or a loved one has broken their ankle. The purpose of this article is to outline the basics of wearing an ankle cast as well as some other information about the care for a broken ankle.

Some people put off going to the doctor because they mistakenly think that their broken ankle is just a sprain. For obvious reasons, it is important to get the doctor as soon as possible. Some signs that your ankle may be broken include pain, bruising, being unable to use the ankle and anything that looks out of place in the area.


If you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and visit your doctor.

With other broken bones, the cast may be put on right away. With an ankle cast, however, there may be a wait of three or four days. The reason is that if the ankle continues to swell as a result of the break, there may not be enough room in a cast to accommodate it.

During those few days, the ankle will more than likely be placed in a splint. This will allow the same restricted movement, but will leave plenty of room on the chance that there is additional swelling. Depending on the type and severity of the break, the doctor may need to reset the bone before applying the splint.

When it comes time for the cast, the doctor will choose one made of either plaster or fiberglass. While fiberglass casts are lighter and preferred by most who have to wear them, this type of ankle cast is not appropriate for all types of breaks.

Anytime that there is a need for the cast to hold the bone in place then a plaster cast must be used. This type of cast is more pliable and is able to prevent the bones from shifting. Again, the type of cast will depend on the severity and type of break.

If you are wearing an ankle cast, then you will need to use crutches anytime you move around.  Of course, some patients will need to keep ALL weight off of the ankle for a period of time. Once you do have the go ahead to become somewhat mobile, the crutches will help you keep as much weight as possible off of the broken ankle.


In some cases, surgery may be required. Often, once the surgery has taken place, an ankle cast will then be required. Of course, not every broken ankle will require surgery. The course of care that will be required for each broken ankle will be unique.

It will depend on many factors including the severity of the break and the exact location that the break occurred.  In most cases, however, an ankle cast of some type will be required at some point during the healing process.

The most important thing to remember when wearing an ankle cast is that you must follow all of the doctor’s instructions. This will ensure the fastest possible healing for your ankle so that you can get rid of the cast more quickly.