The ankle is a small joint that provides a lot of support and mobility to the whole body. Our ankles help us move our legs and feet when we are running, walking, standing, or even sitting down.
The ankle comprises a complex set of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It is where the tibia, fibula, and talus bones meet to form the joint. Abrupt movements in the feet or legs can damage these tissues, causing an ankle injury.
How Can the Ankle Be Injured?
The three most common ankle injuries are strains, sprains, and fractures. Let’s talk about these common ankle injuries and what can be done to help them heal as quickly as possible.
Strains affect muscles and tendons, sprains affect ligaments, and fractures occur in bones. These conditions can range from mild annoyances to severe events, but they can all inflict pain and hinder you from your usual activities. Knowing more about these injuries will help you prepare, saving you from needless suffering.
Strains and Sprains
Both strains and sprains involve tears in connective tissues, which can occur whenever the ankle encounters extreme or repetitive movements. The difference is that a strain affects a muscle or a tendon, whereas a sprain affects a ligament. Tendons connect muscle to bone, and ligaments connect bone to bone.
These injuries tend to occur more frequently when a person does not do proper warm-up exercises before exercising or playing a sport. Supporting tissues must be warmed up first in order to better cope with sudden forces and prevent a tear. Tears in these tissues may be partial or complete, and complete tears sometimes require surgery to repair.
Treatment will depend on the precise injury as well as the severity of the injury. In some cases – particularly with only a partial tear – immobilization and rehabilitation exercises are enough to facilitate complete healing of a sprained ankle or a strained ankle.
A fractured ankle is a break in one or multiple bones of the ankle joint. Fractures may be a partial break or a full break.
The symptoms of a fractured ankle can be very similar to those of a sprained ankle or a strained ankle. It will likely require an X-ray for your orthopedic physician to determine what type of injury it is. Hence, it is best to treat any ankle injury as a fracture until it is examined by a physician.
Foot and Ankle Doctors for Ankle Injuries
Strains, sprains, and fractures are common ankle injuries that can cause significant pain and prevent you from being able to walk normally. To get the best outcome, you will need treatment from medical professionals who specialize in orthopedic conditions – which are issues involving the entire musculoskeletal system.
Our specialized orthopedic surgeons and the medical team at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Foot & Ankle Care focus exclusively on treating injuries and health conditions affecting the feet and ankles. This can be everything from sports injuries to diabetes to arthritis.
If you need expert care for your foot or ankle injury, contact our team today and schedule an appointment. You can call us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663) or request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to helping you step back into your active lifestyle!