Top Ankle Ailments
Ankle problems can stop you in your tracks. Ankles are flexible, but strong. They carry your weight and allow you to walk, jump, and run. The ankle joint is made up of the ends of the two lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula, and the talus, which sits between them.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the ankle joint provides between 40% to 70% of the forward energy used during walking, and for every mile we walk, we put about 60 tons of stress on each foot!
The ankle is one of the most frequently injured joints in the body. The Walter Reed Medical Center states that more than 20,000 ankle sprains occur each day in the United States.
Most Common Ankle Disorders
An ankle sprain describes an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are strong, stiff bands that help join one bone to another and bind the joints together. In the ankle joint, the ligaments help provide foot stability by limiting side-to-side motion.
Ankle sprains can range from minor ligament overstretching to severe injuries where ligaments are partially or completely torn. Some serious ankle sprains can also involve several ligaments at the same time. See your orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist to stabilize an ankle sprain and to learn how to avoid repeat injury.
Fractures in the ankle range from minor cracks in the bones, small pieces of bone being pulled off (known as avulsion fractures), to severe splintering or shattering of the fibula and tibia.
Treatments for a broken ankle depend on the location and severity of the fracture. Many fractures can be treated in a cast. A severely broken ankle may require surgery to place plates and screws into the broken bone(s).
Achilles Tendon Injuries
There are many different tendons that cross each ankle, with the Achilles tendon being the most important. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel and is
the largest tendon in the body. Injuries are usually the result of overstretching or tearing of the tendon.
Your podiatrist surgeon will help you learn about basic care such as rest and icing, using a bandage and elevating the foot for tendon strains. In most cases, complete tendon tears are repaired surgically.
How a Podiatrist can Help Ankle Ailments
The continued use of a painful ankle may lead to more serious conditions that become chronic. This could considerably affect your ability to remain active, so it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before heading back out on the field.
Consult your podiatrist or family doctor for an evaluation of your ankle if you think you may have any of the problems described. Your feet were made for walking and they deserve care and protection.
Find a Podiatrist in Central Maryland
If you are concerned about ankle or foot problems, or are want to know more about their diagnosis or treatment, contact Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland at one of their several area locations. You can schedule an appointment online to be examined by one of our highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons or our podiatrist. If you have any questions about our orthopedic services, please call our office at 410-644-1880.