Because of how much your ankle is used when moving the body, ankle injuries are extremely common. They are even more common when the body suddenly shifts in direction, with the ankle taking a large brunt of the strain.
The ankle joint consists of the convergence of three bones: the talus, fibula, and tibia. Ligaments stabilize the intersection of these three bones, and then the entirety is surrounded and controlled by a series of muscles that allow the foot to move. However, there are instances where the ligaments are overstretched, or other aspects of the joint are injured.
Because of all the components of the ankle, injuries are often broken up by the part of the joint injured: a ligament, muscle, tendon, or bone.
Ankle sprains are the most common ligament injury and the most common injury to the ankle in general. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments supporting the ankle stretch too far and tear. The severity of ankle sprains range in severity from mild to severe depending on the extent of the damage to the ligament.
Mild sprains can often heal with home treatment, but more severe sprains require proper treatment and rehabilitation to avoid a weakening of the ankle and a higher likelihood of further injury.
The muscles surrounding the ankle can also become overused and overstretched, causing a tear and ankle strain. Ankle strain can be both acute and chronic, with chronic ankle strain often occurring in cases of long-term overuse, such as with athletes like long-distance runners, gymnasts, and soccer players.
Overusing the ankle can also lead to tendonitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon that can cause pain in the ankle, especially when walking. Tendonitis is a common sports injury, but it can also occur if you do not wear shoes with proper support or are overweight.
Besides overuse, tendonitis can also occur due to a separate ankle injury, such as a sprain. Leaving other ankle injuries untreated can increase tendonitis and the pain associated with it.
A break in one or more of the bones making up the ankle is called an ankle fracture and can range in severity (and pain) based on the number of fractures. Ankle fractures can occur from twisting, rotating, or rolling the ankle or from tripping or falling.
In some cases, an ankle fracture may go unnoticed and not impact your ability to walk, but in others, it can have symptoms that include:
- Immediate and severe pain
- Inability to put weight on that foot
- Tender to the touch
Treating Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries are common in athletes, and ankle fractures, in particular, can occur in workplace accidents. If you experience any concerning symptoms in your ankle, be sure to seek Medical Treatment. Many of the types of ankle injuries present with similar symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness, so seeking medical guidance can help identify the specific ankle injury.
Ignoring a severe injury can lead to weakness in the ankle and increase the likelihood of subsequent injuries.
To best serve your ankle, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as an injury appears, and the doctors at Injury Doctors NYC are available to help.