Ankles: From Sprains to Surgeries

Categories: Sports Medicine


What you need to know about common ankle injuries.

Whether you’ve had a collision on a sports field, tripped while on a power walk, or had a moment of poor form in crossfit, chances are that you’ve experienced a sore ankle joint once or twice. So at what point does this pain go from a bummer that holds you up for a few days to an actual long term concern? The team of doctors at The Central Orthopedic Group break down some common ankle injuries and what to expect when it comes to healing and repair;

 

Ankle Sprain:

A sprain in the ankle is caused by an unnatural twist or traumatic force to the ankle bones, causing ligaments to be stretched or torn. When not properly treated, an ankle sprain has the ability to develop into a serious long-term issue. Simple treatments include resting and applying ice to reduce swelling, as well as compression bandages that will assist in supporting the injury. However, if the issue persists, it’s always recommended to contact you Orthopedic Surgeon, as the injury can be more serious than meets the untrained eye, and might require a surgical procedure to properly repair.

 

Ankle Stabilization Procedure:

If a patient experiences multiple ankle sprains, they may suffer from excessively painful and unsteady ankles. If ankle bracing, orthotics or physical therapy do not aid in reducing pain, the patient may require a surgical procedure that will repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. An ankle stabilization is typically a same-day procedure, taking place in either a hospital or surgical center, which utilizes a very small incision. Following surgery, the patient will likely receive a cast to help repair the ligaments over the course of the next several weeks, staying conscious of weight-bearing activities.

 

Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery:

If non-surgical methods are not providing your ankle pain with any relief, then it might suggest that you’re a candidate for an arthroscopic ankle procedure. An arthroscopic ankle surgery involves two or three small incisions, and a camera which is placed into the joint, which allows the team of surgical doctors to evaluate the entire ankle joint and repair defects to cartilage, as well as remove inflamed tissues and debris. Following the procedure, which can be performed in either a hospital or surgical center, the patient will be advised to not bear any weight for 1-2 weeks, depending on the extensiveness of the individual surgery. Once sutures have been removed, full weight bearing will be permitted, and the patient will be prescribed post-surgical exercises to maximize healing. Typically a patient will be healed in 6 weeks, and can discuss returning to athletics in 8 weeks, depending on the severity of their case.