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Which Supplements Help Heal a Broken Ankle?

By Carolyn Steele

Bone fractures, once set and immobilized by doctors, should heal in 6 to 12 weeks, according to the website for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If you are well-nourished, your body will perform the healing function efficiently. If you think your diet might be lacking in some nutrients, specific supplements might assist the process. However, diet or supplements are never a substitute for appropriate medical attention. An untreated fracture can lead to permanent deformity and disability.

Ankle Injuries

Your ankle is made up of three bones. Ligaments attach the bases of your tibia and fibula, the lower leg, to your talus, the flat bone at the top of your foot. A broken ankle can involve all or any one of these bones, usually damaging your ligaments as well. A broken bone is known as a fracture, whether it is a mere crack or a full break, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Supplements for Bone Health

Your body needs calcium to help bones mend. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted in 2007 that adults in industrialized nations tend to be deficient in calcium. They also advised that vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption, otherwise any calcium that you consume will be wasted. Add both calcium and vitamin D to your diet to maximize bone health, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Supplements for Inflammation

Your bones contain blood vessels, which will be damaged around a fracture. Blood loss into the tissues causes swelling and painful inflammation. Damaged ligaments cause additional inflammation. According to the University of Maryland, omega-3 fatty acids might help to reduce inflammation. The website adds that omega-3 fatty acids might also contribute to calcium absorption, although the research on this effect is less clear, to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Supplements for Wound Care

A wound can be associated with a broken ankle in one of two ways. The initial injury might have been severe enough to break your skin. Alternatively, you might have required internal surgery to repair and reset the bone. Because bones are particularly prone to infection, any wound presents a risk to recovery. Both vitamin C and zinc are essential to aid your body's wound-healing processes.

Considerations

Several factors can influence how quickly your broken ankle heals. These factors include your age, your general state of health and nutrition, whether you are a smoker or a diabetic, and whether you are taking any prescription medications. Notify your doctor of any redness, heat or additional swelling at the site of your injury, as well as any changes in the nature of your pain.

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