Ankle strains and sprains are injuries that many people experience at some time in their lives, and although they are often mild injuries that heal themselves, they can be severe if ligaments tear. It’s also not unusual to fracture an ankle, and it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis as treatments for each condition are quite different. At San Juan Foot and Ankle Center in Montrose and Delta, Colorado, podiatrists Christopher O. Cook, DPM, FACFAS, and Kyle Nay, DPM, and their team provide diagnosis and treatment using state-of-the-art facilities and extensive specialist knowledge. If you’ve injured your ankle, call the clinic or book an appointment online today.
There are three main types of ankle injury: sprains, strains, and fractures. Ankles contain bands of tissue called ligaments that connect the bones and keep the joints stable. If these are stretched or torn, you’ve sprained your ankle. Ankles also contain tendons that attach muscles to bones, and if these are damaged through stretching or tearing, you’ve strained your ankle. Fractures are breaks in the ankle bones, which may involve a partial injury or complete breaks.
Falls, twisted ankles or blows to the ankle are the most frequent cause of injuries. Sprains and strains commonly occur when you’re playing sports, walking or running on uneven surfaces, or when you’re wearing unsuitable shoes. Some people have weak ankles, which they can be born with or may be due to previous injuries.
Symptoms of ankle injuries vary according to the type and severity of the injury. If you have a piece of bone poking out of your ankle, you need immediate medical attention. If injuries are less severe, you may be tempted to treat them at home; however, if they don’t receive the appropriate treatment, injuries may fail to heal correctly, causing weak legs and ankles and chronic pain.
Your injury may be worse than you realize: For example, you could have a fracture as well as a sprain, or there may be injuries to your foot of which you aren’t aware. You also need to start on a rehabilitation program as soon as possible to help the tissues or bones to heal correctly.
When you attend San Juan Foot and Ankle Center, your doctor takes a detailed history and examines your ankle with great care before taking X-rays or using other diagnostic imaging techniques to get a clear picture of your ankle’s internal structures. A specialist foot and ankle surgeon is the best person to see to find the precise cause of your symptoms. This is essential to help ensure you get the most appropriate and helpful treatment.
Treatment depends on the type of injury you’ve sustained and how severe it is. Initial treatments may include applying ice packs and using compression bandages to reduce swelling. Your doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers to control pain and inflammation and may recommend immobilization using a brace, boot, or cast to take pressure off the injury and encourage it to heal.
Physical therapy is essential for successful rehabilitation, and in some cases, your doctor could recommend surgery. However you’ve injured your ankle and how badly, Drs. Cook and Nay at San Juan Foot and Ankle Center are ready to help you make a speedy and successful recovery, so call them today or book an appointment online.