The ankle is a joint that connects the leg to the foot. It has several bones, ligaments, and tendons, as well as a large range of motion. Due to these features, it can easily be sprained or fractured when you make the wrong move.
The good news is that these injuries are generally benign, which means they do not need invasive surgical procedures. Unfortunately, most of the recommended treatments require medical intervention. In this article, we will discuss a few common ankle injuries and how to treat them.
Common ankle injuries and their treatments:
This is the largest tendon in the body, connecting the muscles of the calf to the heel bone.
The Achilles tendon is prone to inflammation due to overuse. We refer to this condition as Achilles tendonitis. Unfortunately, suffering from Achilles tendonitis makes you more susceptible to partial and complete ruptures of the tendon. Sudden trauma can lead to the same end result.
Typically, you would hear a popping noise and experience heel pain after landing from a jump. Determining the nature of your injury requires a complete physical examination. In some cases, an MRI might be necessary.
As for the treatment of Achilles tendonitis, you will need to follow the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may also help. Additionally, your doctor may recommend a few exercises and physical rehabilitation to restore full motion of the joint.
The ligaments of your ankle protect the joint and keep it in place. If a sprain occurs, one of your ligaments might get stretched or torn. Note that injuring more than one ligament is not that uncommon.
The most suspectable ligament to injury is the syndesmotic ligament, which runs from the knee to the ankle.
Treating ankle sprains requires rest, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter drugs. In severe cases, however, you will need the help of a professional.
For ankle fractures to occur, you need to undergo a severe traumatic injury. This is very different from ankle sprains despite occurring simultaneously sometimes. This might lead some patients to self-diagnose themselves and even auto-medicate.
Symptoms of an ankle fracture are:
- Edema (i.e., swelling)
- Deformity of the joint
Clearly, you cannot treat all injuries from home. You may need the help of an orthopedic surgeon. The severity of the injury will let your doctor know whether surgery is necessary. Sometimes, wearing a splint may be sufficient.
Learning to differentiate between different ankle injuries can be very useful when working out. Just by understanding how these injuries occur, you can program yourself to prevent them. We hope that this article helped you understand the different ankle injuries and how they can be treated
Here’s to your health!
Click for more information about Dr. Kevin Crawford, Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Kevin Crawford