Acute Ankle Injuries
The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprained ankle. But there are a number of other less common ankle injuries as well as important conditions and ankle injuries which should not be missed! Immediate first aid (RICE) rest, ice, compression, and elevation are important for all ankle injuries, especially sprains. If the injury is severe or a fracture is suspected always seek medical advice as soon as possible.
A sprained ankle is one of the most common sports injuries and is also the most frequently re-injured. Sprains are graded according to their severity as they can range from causing minimal pain or causing a complete tear of the ligament. Here you will find everything you need to know about diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating a sprained ankle for an effective and speedy recovery, as well as how to prevent re-injury.
A broken, or fractured, ankle can occur from a bad sprain and is a fracture to one of the bones in the ankle. Many fractures are caused by a severe impact, causing severe pain and rapid swelling. The ankle can be broken in several different ways and in different places so treatment to recover from this ankle injury is individual.
A dislocated ankle is a severe injury which usually happens in conjunction with a fracture or complete rupture of the lateral ankle ligaments. A dislocated ankle can be a posterior, anterior or superior dislocation. They are relatively rare as all the ligaments on one side of the ankle have to rupture (normally on the outer side) and medical help is needed immediately.
An eversion ankle sprain is rare and occurs when the ankle rolls too far inwards. This type of sprain happens when the ligaments on the inside of the ankle tear, which is often accompanied by a fracture of the fibula bone. It is hard for these inside ligaments to be sprained, it is much more common to damage the outer ligaments. Read more on the causes, symptoms and treatment of this ankle injury.
A Pott's fracture is a fracture to one of the bony parts of the ankle called the malleoli. Fractures can occur to the lateral malleoli on the outside or the medial malleoli on the inside. It can be difficult to separate this ankle injury from a sprain, though feeling the ankle with the hands can sometimes indicate if it is a fracture or not. An x-ray can show for sure if it is a fracture.
A high ankle sprain is an injury to the anterior tibiofibula ligament which joins the tibia and fibula together just above the ankle. This ankle injury is generally more severe and more complicated to treat than a normal sprain, Read more on the causes, symptoms and treatment of a high ankle sprain.
Osteochondral lesions (or fractures) of the cartilage, which sits on top of the Talus (ankle bone), most commonly occur in combination with an ankle sprain. An osteochondral lesion may not be diagnosed immediately. It may only be identified if a sprain doesn't fully heal and the ankle continues to cause problems, when further investigations would be made.
An ankle avulsion fracture occurs when a tendon or ligament comes away from the bone often pulling a small piece of bone with it. The symptoms are similar to an ankle sprain, but unlike a sprain, an avulsion fracture pulls a piece of bone off when the ligament tears. An x-ray can determine which ankle injury you have and so how best to treat it.