A broken ankle is also known as an ankle fracture. This occurs when one or more bones that connect the ankle joint are separated into pieces. Some ankle breaks will not prevent you from walking, whereas others broken ankles may prevent you from walking for several months. It all depends on how severe the break is and how many bones are affected. Broken ankles are usually caused by rolling or twisting the ankle when tripping or falling. The symptoms of a broken ankle are very similar to ankle sprains. These symptoms include immediate, severe pain, tenderness to the touch, and swelling.