Common causes of a broken ankle include car crashes, the impact of a heavy object, falls, twisting the ankle and overuse, states Mayo Clinic. High-impact sports, faulty sports equipment, particular work environments, certain medical conditions, gender differences and a cluttered, poorly lit home may lead to a broken ankle.
Car accidents that involve crushing injuries can cause a broken ankle that needs surgical repair, notes Mayo Clinic. Tripping, falling or jumping down from too high can break bones in the ankle. A simple misstep causing the ankle to turn a certain way can also cause a broken bone. Tiny cracks in the weight-bearing bones, called stress fractures, are usually caused over time by repetitive force or overuse, but they can also happen due to osteoporosis. Dropping a heavy item on a bone is a common cause of fractures.
Most ankle injuries are the result of sports activities or twisting the ankle while walking on an uneven surface, states WebMD. Unstable footwear and high-heeled shoes can also lead to ankle injuries. Sometimes a fracture is mistaken for a sprain because the symptoms, which include pain, swelling and bruising, are very similar. A broken ankle may look deformed or out of place, and it is tender to the touch.