Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries seen by orthopedic surgeons.1 In fact, over one million people visit the ER each year due to ankle injuries. Most ankle injuries also occur when the ankle is moved too far out of its typical position.
Some of the most common causes of ankle pain include fractures, sprains, and strains. Ankle strains come in two general varieties, acute strains, and accumulating strains. Accumulating strains or "tendinosis" occur when the muscle tissue in an ankle cannot heal properly after each small injury.
Ankle Sprains- Ankle ligaments are stretched past their normal operating range. Spains range from minor micro-tears to a complete tear of ligaments in the ankle.
Ankle Strains- Ankle muscles or tendons are stretched beyond their normal operating range and are damaged.
Ankle Fractures- The ankle is comprised of three bones, the tibia, fibula, and talus.2 Any of these bones could be broken. Common causes of ankle fractures include car accidents, twisting, rotating, or rolling an ankle, or falling.
Swelling, tenderness, and difficulty bearing weight on the ankle are common symptoms of ankle sprains.
Ankle sprain, also known as a twisted ankle, ankle injury or a rolled ankle is a condition where injury occurs to the ligaments that support the ankle joint. When one or more ligaments of the ankle are stretched too far and are either partially or completely torn, it results in an ankle sprain. A sprain normally occurs due to sudden sideways or twisting movement of the foot caused due to an awkward step or while walking on an uneven surface.
Ankle sprains most commonly occur while performing activities such as playing badminton, tennis or basketball or through daily living.1 It can also occur during daily activities such as stepping off a curb or walking on ice. Returning to routine activities before ligaments are completely healed may result in reduced stability of the ankle joint and can lead to a condition known as chronic ankle instability, which in turn increases the risk of ankle sprains.
An ankle fracture is a break in the bones that make up the ankle joint. The ankle is formed by three bones, the tibia known as shin bone, fibula-smaller bone of the lower leg and the talus, a small bone wedged between the heel bone (calcaneus) and tibia and fibula. Fractures can occur at medial malleolus –between tibia and tallus on the medial part (inner side of the foot), lateral malleolus- between fibula and tallus on the lateral part (outer side of the foot), and posterior malleolus- posterior part of tibia (back of the foot). Fractures are diagnosed with the help of an X-ray.
The ankle joint is a key weight-bearing joint of the skeletal system. It is a structural medley of different bones, tendons and ligaments coming together to form this vital joint. The ankle is also a highly mobile joint and hence, a site of frequent injuries like sprains, tendinitis, fractures or ligament tear. Dr. Hayden is a highly experienced and knowledgeable surgeon who believes in providing advanced surgical care to his patients.
The treatment for ankle injuries depends on the type and extent of injury. Generally, pain is managed with the help of over-the-counter medicines like painkillers or anti-inflammatory  drugs. In order to know the extent of injury, the surgeon requests imaging studies like X-Rays and in some cases MRI too so as to understand the full extent of the injury. Based on these reports, a further course of treatment is decided.
In case of mild sprains, the initial treatment is rest and ice pack application to avoid further damage to the joint.  This works well in reducing the swelling and also creates a feeling of numbness over the joint reducing the pain sensation. Compressing the joint can keep it stable and provide support while keeping it elevated helps reduce the swelling.
If you suffer from moderately severe sprains, the same initial therapy of RICE i.e. rest, ice, compression and elevation works, but it takes a longer time for recovery and you might need additional aid like a splint or boot in the process of recovery. The surgeon might advise you to undergo physical therapy so as to regain power, flexibility and unbound movement of the joint. We at Onto Orthopedics make sure that our patients are provided the utmost care during their journey towards recovery.