The Top 5 Common Ankle Injuries

We ask a lot of our feet. We walk long distances, run, jump, twist, and tumble, so, from time to time, injuries to the ankle can occur. There are various ways damage can be caused and can involve soft tissue and bone. Injuries to the ankle can be painful and debilitating, and if you have suffered one, you no doubt want to know what might have happened and how you can recover.

For personalised care and advice, contact our friendly team today. We’re ready to assist with all your questions.

 1. Sprains

The most common ankle injury affects the ligaments, especially those on the outside of the ankle. These occur when the ankle rolls inwards or outwards. These sprains are placed into three categories.

  • Grade 1, or a mild sprain, involves the stretching of the ligament without tearing. It results in some swelling, bruising and tenderness, and can cause pain when you walk.
  • Grade 2, or a moderate sprain, involves partial tearing when the ligament is overstretched and results in similar symptoms.
  • Grade 3, or a severe sprain, is when the ligament is completely torn or has ruptured. This can cause severe pain, bruising and swelling, and reduced ability to move or balance. Ultrasounds or MRIs can assist is diagnosing the type of sprain and guide the development of a treatment plan.

2. Strains

Some injuries can affect the tendon in your ankle. Like sprains, these can be graded from mild to severe, which involves a rupture of the tendon, and the symptoms are similar. An ultrasound or MRI is required for diagnosis.

3. Fractures

Various injuries and accidents can result in breaks to the bones in the ankle area. The symptoms are similar to those of a sprain. An Xray or CT scan is required to confirm the diagnosis of a fracture, and professional care is crucial for successful recovery.

4. Syndesmosis Injury

These high ankle injuries are often a result of an external rotation involving damage to the membranes and ligaments that hold the tibia and fibular bones in place. Rupture or separation of these soft tissues usually occur with other injuries such as fractures and other ligament sprains. Syndesmosis injuries are often a result of snowboarding accidents or contact sports.

5. Cuboid Syndrome

One of the joints in the foot called the cuboid can be pushed out of place, which causes a disruption to the joint structure. This generally happens due to plantarflexion or inversion injuries, or from overuse. In the past, it was considered an issue predominately for those with flat feet, however, research shows that ballet dances, who often have high arches, are frequent sufferers of cuboid syndrome.

What To Do When You Have Ankle Pain

Because ankles are so crucial as we walk, restoring normal function safely and quickly is in important. Firstly, seeking professional assistance can make a significant difference. They will be able to discover the root cause to your pain and create a treatment plan that is appropriate for your condition. They will also help you prevent further injury to your ankle in the future.

Initial treatment that is prompt and effective is fundamental to a good recovery. Rest, apply ice, use a bandage, compression sock or tape, and elevate your leg. Certain medications may also be appropriate.

Once you have reduced swelling and pain, it important to undertake appropriate exercise that will maintain a full range of movement, so that scar formation and stiffness is avoided. Strengthening the muscles in your calf, foot and ankle is also important to decrease pain and the risk of further damage, and to ensure good balance. Our experienced and qualified physios can help develop a suitable and effective plan personalised for your situation.

Get Back on Your Feet

Looking after our ankles is so important and knowing how to deal with an injury when one occurs can make a significant difference in the success of your recovery. At 13th Beach Health Services, we can help you after an injury so that you can return to your day-to-day activities as soon as possible.

Make an appointment with us so we can assess your issue and create a suitable treatment plan for you, whether through physiotherapy or osteopathy.