Dealing with ankle injuries

Beatrice J. Doty

Whether it was very high heels that caused your ankles to twist, or a round of exercise gone bad, ankle injuries are fairly common. People who play sports are especially prone to bad ankle days.

Dealing with ankle injuries

Basically, during a sprain, the ankle joint rolls in or out suddenly, due to the jolt to the ankle. There are two types of sprains that can result; an eversion sprain in which the ankle is rolled inwards. This causes trauma to the ligaments and tendons of the ankle. Inversion sprain occurs when the ankle gets rolled outwards, damaging the ligaments. Both types of sprains can cause pain due to the stretch or tears sustained by the ligaments.

A fracture, however, is a different ballgame. Ankle joint brings together 3 bones, and a fracture may break one or more of these. It may also affect the peripheral structures. Fractures are also very painful and need immediate medical care.

Another type of ankle injury are the strains. They occur when muscles and tendons sustain injury on account of getting stretched too far. Inflammation of the tendons of the ankles, known as tendinitis, can also cause much pain. However, people ought to get proper diagnosis from the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Johar Town Lahore.

Symptoms of ankle injuries

In case of sprain, ankle tends to become stiff and painful. Inflammation may also be present, but its magnitude is dependent on the severity of the sprain. Naturally, the pain and swelling will be greater in cases where the accident is more serious.

Fractures and sprains may present similar symptoms. They both cause pain, swelling, bruising. Walking may also become very hard, or impossible at times as the injured ankle is unable to bear the weight. An X-ray of the region will aid the doctor in making the diagnosis then.

Tendinitis may cause pain and swelling in the region. The area might also feel warm to touch.

Ankle strains can be acute or chronic. Generally, symptoms that accompany strains include pain in the region, that may manifest right after trauma or may take a while to develop. There can also be swelling and redness in the area that was strained.

Moreover, strains also lead to weakness in the muscles, alongside spasms. The person might not be able to gain the same functionality from the ankle then. Strains can also cause the range of motion to become limited. The ankle also hurts when it is rotated.

Treating sprains 

The precise treatment option is contingent on the severity of the injury. There are protocols for handling the injury at home, but you should always confer with an expert for the precise treatment regimen.

In case of sprains and similar injuries, R.I.C.E is the most important approach. It’s an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Rest involves not partaking in activities that can aggravate the injuries, so people with sprained ankles should refrain from walking too much.  Ice helps in curbing the inflammation, but people with vascular disease should first seek their doctor’s approval. Compression also helps to bring down the swelling. Elevation involves propping your ankle higher than your heart, so that excess fluid is drained, and the edema is brought down.

Moreover, over-the-counter pain medicines can be taken to remedy the discomfort and pain brought on by the injury. If the pain is substantial, your doctor may also recommend walking aides like crutches to help become mobile.

Some patients may also be prescribed physiotherapy by their doctors so that the functionality of the ankle can be restored. In very rare cases, patients need to undergo surgery as well. 

Treating Fractures

The treatment for fractures is divided into two broad categories: surgical and non-surgical. If only one bone is broken, or if the bone is not out of its place and is stable, no surgery is needed. The joint will be made immobile by using cast or splint, respectively.

However, if the ankle is not stable and the break is present in more than one bone, it would need to be surgically fixed. Doctors have to use metal plates and screws to hold the bone. Initially, the ankle is held with splint, but a cast is used after the swelling is abated. Most of the time, the cast is required for 6 weeks.

Treating strains and tendon injuries

The treatment protocol for strains is similar to sprains. In the grade 1 ‘mild ‘strain, patients are recommended to follow the R.I.C.E approach, and the person can use the ankle after just a few days.

 In grade 2, the moderate strain, patient is generally prescribed R.I.C.E, albeit the healing time is longer. Alongside, they can also take OTC pain killers. In some cases, patients might require a boot or splint for assistance.

For grade 3 strain, the joint in immobilized. Patients also may need physiotherapy to get their joint properly working again. Some exercises and stretches are also prescribed to improve the condition once the injury itself is healed.

As for tendon injuries, some people might need to wear a cast or splint. They might also get oral or injectable anti-inflammatory drugs if the inflammation is substantial. Some patients can also be asked to wear brace to provide the ankle with support.

Moreover, down the road, patients might also have to get physiotherapy to restore the range of motion in the injured ankle. However, there are instances in which people have to get surgery down by the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in North Nazimabad Karachi to repair the damage to the ankle, or the peripheral structures.

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