We use our ankles to do almost everything; they are a key feature of our mobility and are among the most used joints in the body. They carry our weight, and absorb the shock of walking, running, jogging, and jumping. This also means that our ankles are quite vulnerable to injury, and it is very common to need treatment for a mild to moderate ankle injury at any age, regardless of how active you may be. Playing sports certainly increases the likelihood of ankle injury, but even a simple misstep on uneven ground can cause a sprain. Azalea Orthopedics foot and ankle surgeons sit atop of the premier foot and ankle surgeons in East Texas. They provide ankle injury treatments, surgical and non-surgical solutions designed to help patients recover quickly. Visit our online Education Library for more information about the conditions we treat.
A sprain occurs when any of the ligaments that hold your ankle in place are stretched too far or tears. Sprains can be mild or severe. If the ligament is stretched, it is possible you can walk on it, and you may experience pain, redness or swelling. If the sprain is mild, moderate, or severe, you may not be able to move it at all. Compression and ice can help a sprain heal, along with rest and elevation.
Also called overuse injuries, these feel similar to sprains but have different causes. A strain can occur when you start to use your ankle differently than before, for example, starting a sport after a long period of inactivity. The symptoms are usually pain localized in the ankle along with swelling and bruising. The injury will not occur during a single incident, but cumulatively as the ankle is overworked in a way it is not accustomed to.
A more severe ankle injury where one of the bones in the ankle is broken or fractured may feel like a sprain but requires different treatment. A fracture can occur from rolling or twisting the ankle, but it can also happen as a result of a high-force impact such as a fall or automobile impact, where shock cannot be absorbed by the joint and the bones crack. A fracture can be displaced, meaning the bones are out of place and must be realigned and stabilized or non-displaced. Treatment of fractures is important to ensure the ankle’s future stability and lessen the chance of arthritis in the future.
Arthritis typically is broken into three categories and refers to the wearing down of joint surfaces. The three types of arthritis are listed below:
- Traumatic arthritis- This type of arthritis usually follows a traumatic injury to the ankle joint.
- Osteoarthritis- The most common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis is typically associated with age and family history.
- Inflammatory arthritis- When the joint and cartilage wear away from the joint due the body attacking itself, it’s referred to as Inflammatory arthritis.
There are several treatment options for arthritis. Two common surgical operations are ankle fusions and total ankle replacements. Ankle fusions are done in some patients who are too young for a joint replacement or who may have had a previous ankle joint infection. Also, patients who do physical work are sometimes better candidates for fusions. Total ankle replacements are a great option for middle age patients who are active. This surgery allows some of the ankle joint motion to be maintained which can take stresses off of the surrounding joints. The decision between an ankle fusion and a total ankle replacement is made after a consultation with the surgeon to individualize the best option for each patient.
Torn ligaments have different grades in severity. Sometimes these tears require surgical intervention.
Contact Your Orthopedic Specialist Today
We have two highly trained and qualified foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Timothy Beck and Dr. John Priddy. If you or a loved one is concerned about an ankle injury, contact us or request an appointment with one of our specialist today! Azalea Orthopedics is dedicated to providing expert care to patients at all of our locations across East Texas. More information about foot and ankle treatment can be found here, or visit our blog for more articles. Orthopedic treatment restores youthful mobility, reduces pain, and changes lives, begin your journey today!