Ankle pain and injuries are discomforts affecting the ankle and can involve injury or inflammation to any of the structures in this area such as muscles, joints, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, joint space or bones. They mostly occur during sports activities.
Types of Ankle Pain and Injuries
At King’s our Orthopaedic Department contains subspecialists for foot and ankle injuries. Some of the most common ankle injuries our specialists come across include:
- Ankle sprains: These occur when the ligaments in the ankle become excessively stretched and can sometimes partially tear or completely tear.
- Ankle fractures: Ankle fractures occur when there is breakage of the ankle bone. The facture of the ankle can either be a clean breakage, the ankle bone can become cracked or it can shatter into small pieces.
Causes of Ankle Pain and Injuries
Ankle pain and injuries are caused by stressing the ankle joint beyond its elements and this can occur when:
- Twisting or rotating the ankle from side to side
- Rolling of the ankle in and out
- Applying extreme force to the ankle joint such as landing on it from a high level
- Extending or flexing the ankle joint
- Falling or tripping
- Walking or running on uneven surface
Symptoms of Ankle Pain and Injuries
Symptoms of ankle pain and injuries include:
- Pain at the ankle
- Swelling at the ankle
- Tenderness at the ankle
- Inability to walk
- Inability to bear weight at the ankle
- A tear or pop can sometime be felt at the time of the injury
- Bruised skin
Treatment of Ankle Pain and Injuries
King’s Foot & Ankle Clinic specialises in treating all types of ankle pain and ankle injuries. The treatment options for ankle pain and ankle injuries depends on the cause and severity of the injury.
At King’s our team of board-certified specialists in ankle pain and ankle injuries offer tailored management and treatment of your condition and are always available to answer any questions that you might have regarding your particular condition. Whatever you need us for, we’re only a phone-call away.
The ankle joint is formed by the fibula and tibia, the two lower leg bones, resting on top of the talus, a third bone. Cartilage is present to prevent friction between the bones. In most cases, your ankles should be capable of bearing all of your weight without any difficulty or discomfort, both when you are motionless and mobile.
Seek medical advice when you experience lasting numbness or tingling sensations, swelling or deformity or when the pain does not improve within two weeks.
Normally, non-operative treatments such as physiotherapy may be recommended to you initially, based on the reason of your ankle pain. On the other hand, ankle surgery procedures are advised when a connective tissue has ripped away from the bone or bone fragments are out of line after a fracture. Medical conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or advanced arthritis require surgery.
Most people over 65 with a history of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or smoking experience nighttime ankle pain. In medical jargon, this is known as “rest pain” which occurs due to insufficient blood flow to the foot. Frequent ankle pain at night could also be a warning indication of severe limb ischemia especially if your foot gets swollen.
To get your ankle working normally again and relieve pain, regular mild workouts can help loosen up muscles and tendons. Try picking up a towel with your toes while your heels are on the ground when seated. Repeat at least 20 times per day. A sitting plantar fascia stretch or simply lifting your big toe only and holding for about 5 seconds with the rest of your foot firmly on the ground may help ease the pain.
Various causes of ankle pain, like osteoarthritis, can be relieved by walking. Conversely, if there is a separate underlying cause of ankle discomfort, walking and other forms of movement can aggravate it.
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