What Can You Tell Me About Ankle Injuries? | Ask the Expert: Orthopedics with Dave Stoll, PA-C, Utica Park Clinic

 

 

ask the expertAnkle injuries seem to be common in my household during the summer. What can you tell me about them? 

Ankle injuries are common this time of year with the increase in outdoor activity. Whether the injury takes place sliding into second base or stepping in a hole in the yard, the damage may be similar. There are multiple ligaments in the ankle that provide stability while allowing for mobility. There are fibers in the ankle that tell the brain where our foot is in space. This allows the muscles to contract on one side of the ankle while relaxing on the other side to accommodate the stresses applied by the terrain on which we are walking or running.

Ankle injuries can vary from minor sprains to fractures with dislocations. The minor sprains may not need any treatment and after a period of rest, you should be able to resume activity without any problem. More complex sprains may require immobilization and rehabilitation before you are able to return to normal activity. The most important thing about ankle injuries is to avoid reinjury while the ankle is at a weakened and injured state. The proper ankle brace goes a long way in providing the needed protection. 

If you suffer from recurrent ankle sprains, you may develop an unstable or lax ankle.  The more unstable your ankle becomes, the easier it is to reinjure it. When an ankle is severely unstable, no amount of therapy will tighten the ligaments enough to protect it from reinjury. In this instance, you would be well served to visit with an orthopedist about an ankle reconstruction surgery. To reconstruct an ankle, ligaments are taken from elsewhere in the ankle to provide structure where the original ligaments have been permanently stretched. This procedure has been found to be beneficial to those with chronic ankle sprains.

If you are unfortunate enough to fracture your ankle, you may get by with protecting it until it heals. In other cases, you may need surgical intervention to internally stabilize the fracture. Recovering from an ankle fracture usually requires an extended period of non-weight bearing (staying off the ankle) followed by partial weight bearing in a fracture boot. Eventually full weight bearing and physical therapy will allow you to resume normal activity.

The recovery process from an ankle injury can vary from weeks for a lesser injury to years for the more complex fracture/dislocation injuries. Extended periods of swelling following an ankle injury are not uncommon. This is normal for the healing process.

Hopefully you don’t injure your ankle, but if you do, allow time for healing and proper rehabilitation so it does not become a chronic issue.

 

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Dave Stoll, PA-C

Orthopedic Care

Utica Park Clinic – Owasso

10512 N. 110th East Ave., Suite 220

Owasso, OK  74055

918.376.8959

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