There are three bones and two joints in each ankle. Breaking or fracturing an ankle can mean breaking or fracturing any or multiple bones, as well as tearing and stretching of ligaments and tissues that surround them.
Broken and fractured ankles are typically caused by falls, car accidents, or sports-related trauma. Since severe sprains can sometimes hide symptoms of a broken or fractured bone, it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a foot injury.
Symptoms of a broken or fractured ankle include bruising, swelling, severe pain, the inability for the ankle to bear weight, tenderness, discoloration, and/or deformity.
Treatments typically include a cast or brace. Depending on the severity of the injury, corrective surgery may be needed to secure the bones in place for proper alignment.
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist your ankle in an abnormal way causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and proper treatment.
The foot and ankle are highly specialized structures that absorb the weight of the body and enable us to move. Experts estimate that the force and pressure on your feet when walking can be up to two times your body weight. This pressure can increase with more vigorous movements such as running and jumping. With so much pressure on your feet and ankles, they undergo a lot of wear and tear throughout your life and are highly susceptible to injury and trauma.
The foot and ankle are a complex system of bones, ligaments, muscles, and joints that provide the structure and stability we need to move freely. If any of these components become compromised or weakened due to injury, overuse, degenerative conditions, or sprains, it can significantly impact your foot’s ability to move and function properly.
Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse of the band of tissues that connects the lower region of your calf muscle to your heel bone, also known as your Achilles tendon. Those at a higher risk for Achilles tendinitis are runners engaging in intense training or middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion.
Below are some of the most common sports and sports-related injuries we see in our office.
- Martial Arts and Kickboxing: Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and ankle sprains. Proper stretching is vital to injury prevention, specifically, a minimum of 15 minutes before beginning exercise.
- Aerobics: With impact forces reaching up to six times the force of gravity and 26 bones in the foot, proper shoes are extremely important when participating in aerobics. Shoes must provide shock absorption and proper cushioning, as well as stability.
- Team Sports: Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, field hockey, and lacrosse often lead to foot and ankle injuries. Artificial surfaces, improper footwear, and inadequate stretching are recipes for disaster.
Make sure to wear proper shoes and stretch for at least 15 minutes before playing sports.
Ankle Sprains and Strains
Chronic ankle instability is usually caused by repeated ankle sprains or strains and is described as the gradual giving way of the outside of the ankle. Symptoms of ankle instability typically occur after a sprain or after the ankle is sprained, and consist of constant inflammation or swelling, tenderness, and weakness in the ankle.
A sprained ankle occurs when you unnaturally twist your ankle, causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
Similarly, a strain can happen when there is a sudden twist, pull, or tear in the muscles or tendons in the ankle. Chronic strains are those that occur over several days or weeks and are usually caused by repetitive movements.
Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the damage. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and appropriate treatment.
After an ankle sprain or strain, proper rehabilitation is required to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and rehabilitate the tissues within the ankle that affect your balance. Also, physical therapy, medications, and bracing can help treat chronic ankle instability. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains or strains, and possibly surgery.