The ankle is one of the most critical areas of the body. It connects your feet with your lower leg and knee, and bears much of your weight with each step. Injuries to the ankle are quite common, and ankle sprains are one of the most common foot conditions. All it takes is a misstep to injure your ankle. But don’t panic!
To understand ankle injuries, it’s important to understand the anatomy of your ankle. An “ankle” is not technically a bone or muscle. Actually, the ankle is the joint where the leg meets the foot, and encompasses bone, ligaments and muscles that cross the joint. These bones are the:
Ankle injuries are a description of various types of foot conditions. Ankle injuries can be categorized as acute or one-time/short-term (ie: from falling or slipping), and chronic or repetitive/long-term (i.e.: from activities like ballet dancing, running, or acute injuries that don’t heal). Additionally, there are various degrees of ankle injuries. These include strains, sprains, tendonitis, and fractures.
Like many acute and chronic injuries, you should follow the RICE approach. RICE is short for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These four recovery methods are powerful and effective when combined. RICE serves several purposes. It helps reduce inflammation, lessens pain, and provides support to an unstable part of your body.
For additional support, you can try Taping or Bracing. The intent of taping and bracing is to provide stability. Our chiropodists can skillfully and therapeutically splint, brace and tape the feet to treat and prevent a variety of foot conditions and deformities. In the case of ankle injuries, taping can help lock the ankle in place and prevent either inward or outward rolling. There is a certain element of compression that also helps induce healing by managing inflammation. The cost of any splinting, bracing, or taping is included in the cost of our chiropodist assessment; there is no extra fee.
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Chronic ankle injuries require additional treatment to address the underlying causes and contributing factors. Treatments for chronic ankle injuries can include:
To understand and recognize the severity of an ankle injury, you’ll want to determine the location of the pain and recognize the cause.
If your lower leg suffers trauma, it’s likely either a sprain or a fracture. The location of the pain can help differentiate the two. If the pain is directly over the boney prominence on either side of the ankle, the tibia or fibula (shin bones), you likely have a fracture (or a variation of a fracture, like a stress fracture). X-rays are a common way to diagnose fractures. If you’re unable to weight-bear, you should also get an X-ray to rule out a fracture.
If the pain is in your ankle muscles (the soft part), it’s more likely a sprain or tendon injury. Both will have various degrees of swelling but the pain is localized in slightly different areas depending on the type of ankle injury. Although ankle strains can also be caused by blunt trauma, it’s usually less severe than an outright sprain.
On the other hand, if you find yourself with a lower leg injury that’s been slowly developing over time, it’s likely either a strain or ankle tendonitis.
Generally, the differentiators between ankle injuries can be unclear. Seeking medical treatment can provide clarity to your injury. For example, ankle tendinopathies can often be confused for ankle sprains because of their similarities. For this and other reasons, imaging may be required to pinpoint the exact injury, whether it’s through X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI. To help diagnose any ankle injury, consult a medical professional for a further examination.
We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortably as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll provide actionable steps toward getting your ankle on the road to recovery!
Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!