Ankle fractures in the elderly are extremely common (up to 184 fractures per 100,000 persons per year, and of these approximately 20%-30% occur in the elderly). The medical literature contains no research that has investigated ankle fractures in the elderly. A prospective, randomised study was conducted of 84 patients with displaced ankle fractures, who were over the age of 65 years and were assigned to operative or conservative treatment after closed reduction. The results of treatment assessed according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Score showed a mean of 91.37 ± 8.96 in the non-operated group compared with 75.2 ± 14.38 (P = 0.001) in the operated group. The costs of treatment were accordingly higher. These results call for consideration of a non-operative approach to the treatment of well-reduced ankle fractures in the elderly. Increased efforts should be invested in the prevention of these common fractures.