Common Orthopedic Ankle Problems and Treatment

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle is twisted. When the ligaments that keep the ankle bones and joint in place are put under too much tension, a sprain occurs. Ligaments are elastomeric structures that protect the ankle joint from injury and can be extended with natural movement. An ankle sprain occurs when these mechanisms are extended beyond their limits. This occurs when the foot is twisted, turned, or rolled. Athletes and non-athletes alike may be affected. The elastic ligament fibres are torn apart in a serious sprain. Summerville Joint Pain Doctor offers excellent info on this.

Our orthopaedic surgeons “rate” sprains based on the severity of the injury. A Grade 1 sprain requires some ligament fibre damage as well as some stretching. A Grade 2 sprain causes partial ligament tearing as well as ankle joint looseness (laxity). A complete tear of the ligament occurs in a Grade 3 sprain, resulting in gross instability.

The majority of ankle sprains can be treated without surgery. The doctor will prescribe R.I.C.E. treatment for Grade 1 and 2 sprains. This entails: (1) not placing weight on the ankle; (2) applying ice to the ankle to reduce swelling; (3) using compression dressings to provide support; and (4) elevating the ankle above the heart.

Surgery is often done for Grade 3 sprains. An arthroscopy is used during this procedure to allow the surgeon to look into the joint and see if there are any loose cartilage or bone fragments, as well as to see if the ligament has been damaged. Reconstruction can be needed if the ligament tear is complete. Stitches or other ligament or tendon fragments will be used by the orthopaedic surgeon to repair the injury.

Fractures of the ankles

When one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken, it is called an ankle fracture. Ligaments are often weakened as well. Tripping and dropping fractures, ankle twisting or rotation, or an impact during a car collision may all result in these types of breaks. An ankle fracture may be either a simple or a complicated and serious injury. People of all ages are affected by broken ankles. Immediate and extreme pain, bleeding, swelling, pain with weight bearing, and deformity are all possible signs, particularly if the ankle joint is dislocated.

The procedure for an ankle fracture is complex and largely determined by the form of injury suffered. Surgery may not be required if the fracture is not out of place and the ankle is healthy. The orthopaedic surgeon employs a variety of techniques to secure the break as it recovers. A walking boot, a splint, a short leg cast, or a removable brace are examples of these.