Ankle injuries are common among sportsmen and women, as well as occurring during everyday living. It is easy to sprain your ankle simply from walking on an uneven surface or missing your step so you jar your ankle joint.
Sprains and fractures are the mostly frequently occurring injuries but you can also tear or strain your tendons. Some ankle injuries can be treated at home while others may require professional medical attention, even surgery.
Treatments can be minimally invasive or can involve surgery; fracture fixation or later fusing parts of the ankle and foot joints to relieve pain.
Ankle injuries are defined by the type of tissue that is damaged; bone, ligament or tendon.
- Three bones meet in your ankle: the tibia and fibula of your lower leg and the talus of your foot.
- Ligaments are strong elastic bands of connective tissue that keep the bones in place but stretch to allow the ankle to move.
- Tendons attach the bones of the foot to the muscles. They enable the foot and ankle to move and keep the joints stable.
Sports associated with ankle injuries:
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Is there anything I can do to avoid ankle injuries?
To avoid injuring the ankles, doctors recommend maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding exercising while you are tired or in pain; wearing well-fitting shoes that are appropriate for the activity you are doing and warming up properly before exercising.
I tore a ligament and it is taking a long time to heal, is that normal?
Unfortunately, it can take a long time for ligaments to heal – sometimes as much as two years. In the meantime, keep doing whatever strengthening exercises have been recommended.
My son injured his ankle during football practice, what should I do?
Follow the RICE procedure outlined above – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Fractures and sprains that go undiagnosed or aren’t treated properly can lead to long-term ankle problems, such as weakness, repeated injury and arthritis.
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