What Should Someone Do After An Ankle Injury
You can apply first aid for an ankle injury by remembering R.I.C.E: rest, ice, compression, elevation.
- Rest. It’s important to rest the ankle to prevent further damage and keep weight off of it.
- Ice. Using ice will help slow or reduce the swelling and provide a numbing sensation that will ease the pain. Proper icing includes icing within 48 hours of an injury, never leave ice on for longer than 15 minutes to 20 minutes at a time to prevent frostbite. Wait 40 minutes to 45 minutes before applying ice again to allow tissues to return to normal temperature and sensation, and repeat as needed. You can apply an ice compress using a plastic freezer bag filled with ice cubes and water to mold to your ankle or use a frozen bag of veggies like corn or peas, , use a layer of towel between your skin and the plastic bag.
- Compression. Wrapping the injured ankle with an elastic bandage or off-the-shelf compression wrap will help keep it immobile and supported. Be sure not to wrap the ankle too tightly. If your toes turn blue, get cold, or lose sensation, the wrap is too tight.
- Elevate. Elevating the injured ankle to at least the level of your heart will reduce swelling and pain.
Causes Symptoms Treatments & Other Resources
Ankle injuries can be excruciating and can occur with sports or simple activities like stepping off the curb incorrectly, and the most common ankle injuries are to the ligaments. What are the four ligaments in the ankle? What are loose ankle ligaments? What causes chronic instability? How do you treat weak ankles? Lets dig in.
Do Torn Ankle Ligaments Require Surgery
Many torn ankle ligaments recover well with a short period of rest, ice, compression and elevation , followed by a physical therapy programme focussed on building the strength around your ankle and improving mobility or an Aircast boot for complete tears.
In more severe cases, such as a complete rupture, or if there is bone or cartilage damage, surgery may be necessary to restore strength and stability.
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What Happens If You Tear An Ankle Ligament In Your Foot
A tear or sprain in a ligament is much more common that a tendon tear in the foot. Ankle sprains are the most common orthopedic injury. When you tear a ligament in the foot or ankle, there is usually immediate swelling. You can typically still stand on it. The severity and number of ligaments involved will impact the swelling and recovery.
Ligaments do not receive much blood supply. This makes the healing process slower than other injuries.
If you would like to learn more about ankle sprains, this video may help.
Ankle Ligament sprain and a foot tendon strain
Ankle Pain After Walking
More than any other joint, our ankles bear the burden of all of our body weight. The ankles arent large weight-bearing joints, like our hips or knees comparatively speaking, the ankles are rather small for the tasks they are assigned to do. If the ankles are normal and healthy and there isnt a weight issue placing excess stress on the ankles, the ankles can typically bear the forces of walking, running, hiking, and so on quite well. However, when the ankles are weak or carrying too much weight, any additional forces placed upon themeven something as simple as walkingcan create problems.Do your ankles get sore after walking? What about foot and ankle pain after hiking? If so, its a good idea to proactively address it now, before it gets worse, rather than resigning yourself to it and decreasing or stopping the activities you enjoy.Well explain more in a moment, but first lets take a closer look at the structure of the ankle.
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What Causes Ankle Injuries
An ankle injury occurs when the ankle joint is twisted too far out of its normal position. Most ankle injuries occur either during sports activities or while walking on an uneven surface that forces the foot and ankle into an unnatural position. The unnatural position of the ankle in high-heeled shoes or walking in unstable, loose-fitting clogs or sandals is also a factor that may contribute to ankle injuries. In addition to wearing faulty footwear, an ankle injury can happen as a result of:
- Tripping or falling
- Landing awkwardly after a jump
- Walking or running on uneven surfaces
- A sudden impact such as a car crash
- Twisting or rotating the ankle
- Rolling the ankle
Can I Injure An Ankle Ligament
An ankle ligament can be injured when it moves in the wrong direction, stretches too far or tears. A ligament injury is called a sprain.
A sprained ankle is a very common injury. It happens to people of all ages and levels of health. An ankle sprain usually occurs when someone twists the ankle. For example:
- Falling or almost falling.
- Having someone step on your foot, forcing it into an unnatural position.
- Playing sports that require rolling the foot or cutting back and forth in different directions quickly .
- Walking or running on uneven surfaces .
The three main types of ankle sprains include:
- Inversion ankle sprain: This happens when the ankle rolls inward, injuring the lateral ligaments. This is the most common type of ankle sprain, as the lateral ligaments are weaker than the other ankle ligaments.
- Eversion ankle sprain: This occurs when the ankle rolls outward and injures the medial ligaments. This type of ankle sprain is not common, but it can occur during running or jumping, especially on uneven surfaces.
- High ankle sprain: This type of sprain affects the syndesmotic ligaments. It typically occurs in competitive athletes who experience a forceful blow to the ankle or extreme twisting motion. Its particularly common in people who participate in American football, basketball, hockey, soccer and snow skiing.
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Treatment Of Tendon Injuries
Options for treating tendon injuries are similar to options for treating sprains. They include:
- Immobilization using a cast or splint
- Oral or injected anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain
- Physical therapy for range of motion, strength, and balance
- A brace to provide support during activities
- Surgery to repair the tendon or tendons and sometimes to repair the supporting structures of the foot
Christopher J Centeno Md
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in Interventional Orthopedics and the clinical use of bone marrow concentrate in orthopedics. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty of pain medicine through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Centeno is one of the few physicians in the world with extensive experience in the culture expansion of and clinical use of adult bone marrow concentrate to treat orthopedic injuries. His clinic incorporates a variety of revolutionary pain management techniques to bring its broad patient base relief and results. Dr. Centeno treats patients from all over the US who
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Anatomy Of A Joint Structure
A joint is a part of a body where two or more bones meet. The ends of these bones are covered by Cartilage. To define, Cartilage is a connective tissue structure that helps provide shock absorbing properties when performing activities. In addition to cartilage, Synovial Fluid presents within each joint space and promotes smooth movement of the joint. There are also important connective tissues called Tendons and Ligaments that make up each body structure. A tendon is a tissue that connects muscle to bone. Similarly, ligaments connect bone to bone.
Loose Ankle Ligaments: What Causes Chronic Ankle Instability
The ankle is susceptible to injury. It is the most injured joint in sports and accounts for 10-30% of all sports injuries . A sprain is when one or more of the ligaments is stretched or torn. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common. Sprains are classified into grades 1, 2, or 3 based upon the severity of the injury. Simple tasks like stepping off the curb or sports can lead to ankle sprains. Ligaments stabilize the ankle joint and when sprained can lead to ankle instability. When acute ankle sprains are not identified, treated, and allowed to heal chronic ankle instability can occur. 20% of acute ankle sprains develop into chronic ankle instability . Chronic instability is serious as it is associated with loss of cartilage, tendon injury, and instability of the foot joints.
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The Ligaments Of The Foot
The Lisfranc ligaments stabilize the small bones of the mid-foot, as well as the transverse tarsal joint. They are stronger across the plantar of the foot than on the dorsal aspect, though they are very strong in either case. These ligaments were described by the Napoleonic era surgeon Jacques Lisfranc, who noticed that when people fell from their horses but got their foot stuck in the stirrup, they dislocated portions of the mid-foot. These dislocations are very problematic, and took a long time to heal.
Figure 4: Plantar Ligaments
The Inter-Metatarsal Ligaments
These ligaments run between the metatarsal bones at the base of the toes. They connect the neck region of each metatarsal to the one next to it and bind them together. This keeps the metatarsals moving in sync. While it is possible to tear these ligaments, it is also possible for them to irritate the digital nerve as it crosses the ligaments, potentially leading to a Mortons neuroma.
The Joint Capsule of the Big Toe
The connective tissue of this ligament takes the form of a capsule. It goes from the inner portion of the first metatarsal head and stretches to the distal phalanx on the inside. This allows this ligament to stabilize the great toe on the inside. In the situation where a person develops a bunion, this band gets stretched out, and the toe changes position because of this.
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Ankle & Foot Tendonitis: 5 Main Causes Symptoms Treatment
Question: What causes ankle and foot tendonitis?
Foot pain is quite a common problem that affects the young and old. One common cause of foot pain is tendonitis.
Tendonitis means inflammation of the tendon that runs over, under, or on the sides of the foot. A tendon is a strong band that joins muscle to bones. Inflammation and tear of tendons and ligaments around the foot will cause ankle and foot tendonitis.
In simple terms, if your tendons get inflamed, you will experience mild or severe pain around the affected tendon. Other symptoms are
- Painful foot when running or walking.
So, if your foot hurts during activity and eases off during rest, there is a possibility that youve injured one of your tendons.
It is important you see a podiatrist or orthopedic foot surgeon to easily diagnose why you have foot pain. Remember, there are many causes of foot pain. In severe cases, it could be a fracture or an ankle sprain.
Here are some questions your doctor will need you to answer to learn why you have foot pain
This article explains ankle and foot tendonitis, causes, and treatment options.
Why Is Ligament And Tendon Reconstruction Performed
Your doctor may recommend foot and ankle ligament and tendon reconstruction if you have ligament and tendon damage causing severe pain, joint misalignment, joint instability, deformity, or disability. Your doctor may only consider ligament and tendon reconstruction if other treatment options have not relieved your symptoms. Ask your doctor about all of your treatment options and consider getting a second opinion.
Your doctor may recommend foot and ankle ligament and tendon reconstruction to treat damage to ligaments and tendons due to:
Acute injuries, causing strains and partial or complete tears
Bone spurs, which can rub against a tendon
Degenerative changes, which weaken the ligament or tendon with age
Overuse injuries, which places repetitive stress on the ligament or tendon
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Get To Know Dr Carrasquillo
Dr. Carrasquillo is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. His residency was completed in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. He completed a post-graduate fellowship in foot and ankle surgery in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Carrasquillo is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Carrasquillo specializes in the treatment of the foot & ankle, lower leg and general orthopedic surgery at the JOI San Marco office.
Foot And Ankle Anatomy
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Foot and ankle anatomy is quite complex. The foot consists of thirty three bones, twenty six joints and over a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons.
These all work together to bear weight, allow movement and provide a stable base for us to stand and move on.
The foot needs to be strong and stable to support us yet flexible to allow all sorts of complex movements with activities such as walking, running, jumping and kicking.
Here, you will find an overview of the different structures that make up the various aspects of foot anatomy, how they fit together and what can go wrong. To find out more about each one, visit the relevant section.
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What Are The Common Treatments For A Sprained Ankle
Treatment for an ankle ligament injury can vary greatly, depending on:
- The severity of the ankle injury .
- Whether pain or trouble moving the ankle is interfering with your life.
- Whether youre at risk for additional ankle injuries in the future.
Your healthcare provider will recommend treatment for your particular injury, ranging from surgical to nonsurgical:
- Rest, ice, compression and elevation .
- Assistive devices .
- Immobilization .
- Physical therapy to strengthen the ankle and improve balance.
- Surgery is rarely required after an acute ankle sprain. Occasionally, people can repeatedly sprain their ankles. They may require surgery to repair the ankle ligaments.
How Do I Get Ready For A Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
Talk with your healthcare provider about how to prepare for your surgery. Ask if you should stop taking any medicines ahead of time, like blood thinners. If you smoke, try to stop smoking before your procedure. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. This included over-the-counter medicines like aspirin. Also, tell him or her about any changes in your overall health, like a recent fever.
Before your procedure, you may need imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI. You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
You may need to plan some changes to your home and activities before surgery. You wont be able to walk on your foot normally for a while.
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What Are Tendons And Ligaments
Tendons are tough connective tissues whose main function is to connect muscle to bones. So, when you move around, your muscles contracts, pulls your tendons, which in turn allows movement to occur. Tendons are located on the top, bottom, and sides of the foot.
On the top of the foot are extensor tendons that help move your foot towards the front of the leg There include
- Extensor digitorum muscle tendon
- Tendon of the tibialis anterior
On the side of the foot are
- The posterior tibial tibia tendon located at the inner side of your foot
- The two peroneal tendons located on the outside of the foot
At the back of the foot is the Achilles tendon that stretches from the posterior part of the leg and gets attached to the heel bone .
Also present at your ankle and foot are ligaments. These ligaments primarily hold bones in shape. If they get injured, you will experience foot pain and swelling.
How To Treat Tendon And Ligament Injuries
Telling the difference between a ligament or tendon injury on your own can be hard. Whenever you have pain and swelling, see your doctor for a skilled diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
In the meantime, however, whether its a strain or a sprain, immediate treatment is generally the same. Doctors recommend:
- Rest. Try to keep your injured body part immobilized until healing is well underway. This may be easier with the use of immobilization braces and crutches, if needed.
- Ice. Wrap ice in a towel to protect the skin and then ice the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, while you recover.
- Compression. Reduce swelling by wearing a compression bandage. Wrap the bandage so its snug but not uncomfortably tight.
- Elevation. Keeping your injured body part higher than your heart can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Medication. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, taken as needed, may help reduce your pain and swelling.
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How To Heal Torn Ankle Tendons
Even though the tendons in the ankle and foot are very complex. the healing process is the same 3 step process as for any other injury
Step one is called the inflammatory response. The injured area will go through a kind of quarantine and the area will swell and become immobile, while the body prepares to start the actual healing process. This step occurs almost instantly after the injury to protect it from further damage.
Step two is the repair. This is when the body sends in waves of powerful immune cells to help repair the damaged tendons. This step is particularly important in the first 24-48 hours after the injury.
Finally, step three is called the remodel. In this last step, the body attempts to remodel the tendons back to full strength. This requires rebuilding the tendons and ensuring they can function normally in all ranges of motion, without limitation.
Now, if any one of these steps is impaired or sabotaged in any way, then it can affect the entire healing process Think of it like a domino effect. Each step follows in a common sense way and you do not want to disrupt any part of it. In fact, what you really want to do is support and encourage each step to function at its maximum capacity. That is how you will heal fully and quickly.
And that brings us to the #1 mistake people make when they get injured. ICE. We have written a number of articles on the danger of using ice after an injury, but if you would like to learn more about it, please .