DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Swollen ankle. Close-up of a swollen ankle caused by a fracture of the fibula. The fibula is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Fracture of the fibula is quite common, and if it breaks just above the ankle joint, there is a certain amount of damage to the joint itself. The ligaments which attach the fibula to the ankle can be torn or stretched, resulting in the swelling seen here. An ankle damaged in this way cannot support the body's weight, and is very painful. The lower leg may have to be immobilised in a plaster cast to allow correct healing of the bone. Severe fractures may require surgery to pin the bones in the correct positions.
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