Is My Ankle Sprained or Fractured?

Common Ankle Sprian InjuryLike you, every year, close to 1 million Americans see a medical professional about an acute ankle injury. You may think that ankle sprains are limited to rigorous excercise, but they can and do occur during everyday activities like walking, running, or even getting up from a chair. Ankle injuries can happen when:

  • You step on an irregular surface
  • During athletic activities when your injury is caused by another player or when excessive twisting occurs during game play
  • Your foot is awkwardly planted when running or walking
  • When a foot rolls inwards (inversion)
  • When a foot rolls outwards (eversion)
  • When stepping up or down. For example when you get out of bed.
  • When wearing shoes that do not offer good support or are not well suited for activity (running in high heels).

Symptoms of sprains and symptoms of a fractures are very similar. Self-assessment or evaluation by an inexperienced practitioner can be inaccurate and what appears to be a sprain can in fact be a fracture. This can lead to wrong course of treatment and a protracted and difficult recovery period.

Ankle fractures and sprains
have similar signs:
  • Pain, often severe and
    difficult to bear
  • Swelling and inflamation
  • Bruising of the ankle
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty putting weight on
    the injured foot

From our 60 years of combined experience and countless examples of successful ankle treatment cases, we can confidently say that the best first step in treating your ankle injury is getting an accurate and early diagnosis from a well-experienced podiatrist or foot specialist.

Although this may seem like common sense, we continue to be surprised by how many patients delay, and choose to take advantage of our free consultations days after their initial injury, and well after attempts at self-diagnosis and conservative home treatment have failed. This can prolong your healing time, pain, complicates recovery of your foot, and can prevent you from quickly returning to work and regular activity.

Ankle Sprain Injury

The ankle joint, which is made up of three bones (tibia, fibula, and talus) connects the foot with the lower leg. Ankle bones are connected with and stabilized by ligaments. Although ligaments are elastic and can stretch and retract back to their normal shape, they can be stretched beyond their limit and partially or completely torn when placed under greater than normal stress.

The three bones of the ankle joint, tibia, fibula, and talus

Excessive stress on the ankle can also lead to bone fractures and injury to the tendons which can be strained and torn much like ligaments. Only an experienced professional, one who has seen and successfully treated many ankle problems can correctly diagnose the extent of your ankle injury and rule out some of the more serious trauma to ankle bones and surrounding structures.

If you have ankle sprain, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

 

  • Inflammation and swelling (sometimes severe) caused by increased fluid in the surrounding tissue.
  • Throbbing pain in the joint
  • Pain that is made worse when pressure is applied to the sore area
  • Warmth and redness caused by increased blood flow to the ankle
  • Mild to severe pain in the ankle
  • Popping sound during the actual injury
  • Increase in pain when foot is moved in a certain direction
  • Instability in the ankle when walking
  • Bruising Difficulty in moving the ankle

Diagnosing Ankle Injury

We can determine the best and most effective treatment of your injured ankle after close examination. If you suspect ankle sprain or a more serious ankle injury consult our office about the use of anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin to help with your pain and swelling. Although generally safe, these drugs have side effects like increased risk of bleeding and ulcers and should be used sparingly unless indicated otherwise by a medical professional.

Your most effective course of treatment, one that leads to recovery and return to normal daily activity begins with early and accurate assessment and diagnosis of your injury by a podiatrist thoroughly familiar and experienced in treating injuries of this vital joint.

An incorrectly treated ankle or partially healed ligament, tendon, or bone, can destabilize your foot, making it prone to further injury, trauma, and permanent damage to the ankle joint and joint cartilage.

With well over 3,000 steps taken by an average person a day, it’s easy to forget just how much of your daily life and mobility depend on healthy ankles. Whether it’s biking at one of LA’s sunny beaches, hiking in the santa monica mountains, playing a game of ball with your friends or your kids, or just doing some shopping at a local mall, your ankles are the key to your mobility and fulfilling life style.

Ankles of a soccer player

If you believe you have an ankle sprain or a more serious ankle injury, rest, ice, compress and elevate your ankle as suggested above and contact our office at your earliest convenience to schedule a professional evaluation of your injury. Early diagnosis and correct treatment are key to your quick recovery and prevention of more serious ankle problems in the future.

 


 

   12:54AM - Currently Closed

Studio City

12660 Riverside Drive

Suite 305

Studio City, CA 91607

(818) 960-3995

   12:54AM - Currently Closed

Studio City

12660 Riverside Drive

Suite 305

Studio City, CA 91607

(818) 960-3995
Request Appointment
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