Swelling is to be expected after an ankle fracture. As the body responds to injury, protective blood cells rush to the area causing what is known as inflammation. This process can be visualized in the swelling that follows. Elevating the affected extremity and applying ice can help alleviate swelling. Patients often report that they notice increased pain and swelling once the leg is no longer elevated. Swelling of a fractured ankle may take months to resolve post-operatively. Compression stockings, which work through gradient pressure to return blood upward toward the heart can sometimes help to reduce post-injury swelling.