What did I do to my ankle? Ouch!

If your ankle is in pain, you’re not alone.  Ankle injuries are the most common sports- related injury – and ankle injuries are also very common in non-sports-related accidents.  Rolling, twisting, tripping or falling can all cause ankle sprains – and even fractures.

The types and treatments of ankle injuries

Sprains:  Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life.  If your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you’ve most likely sprained it.  An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged – and how many ligaments are injured.

Treatment for an ankle sprain typically includes rest, applying ice, compression, elevation and over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce the pain and swelling.   Proper treatment and rehabilitation exercises are also very important for ankle sprains.  If an ankle sprain doesn’t heal right, the joint may become unstable and cause chronic pain.  This can make your ankle weak and more likely to be reinjured.

Fractures: An ankle fracture is a break in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint.  Sometimes ligaments may also be damaged.   Common symptoms of an ankle fracture include pain and swelling around the ankle, bruising, tender to touch, inability to walk on the leg, and deformity if the ankle is dislocated.

Treatment for an ankle fracture also varies with the type and severity of the injury.  Some ankle fractures are treated with a splint, which is placed on the ankle for few days until the swelling subsides. Once the swelling decreases, a cast may be placed on the ankle to hold the broken bone in a specific place. Surgery may be needed to realign the bones before placing the splint. During surgery, your doctor may place metal screws, plates, or rods to hold the broken bone intact until it’s healed. In some cases, crutches may be used to prevent the ankle from bearing weight.

What should I do if my ankle is injured?
Following any ankle injury, it’s important to have the ankle evaluated by your posmc orthopedic physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.  Remember that even an ankle sprain is not always a minor injury.  Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness.  Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. Make an appointment now!