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Advanced Ankle Techniques

ankle techniquesAnkle Sprains

An ankle sprain is an injury that can lead to a significant amount of pain and limited mobility. They are often characterized by swelling and discoloration of the skin, which occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits. This can happen when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Walking can sometimes cause sprains, while some people are more at risk for developing sprains than others, like athletes.

Ankle sprains can become worse if not immediately tended to. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, the sprain may be severe enough to require more serious treatment. If you are unable to stand or walk, if you’re experiencing prolonged pain, if swelling has become more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness, you may actually have a broken ankle.

Basic treatment for an ankle sprain involves the RICE method, or rest, ice, compression, and elevation. More severe cases may require surgery and rehabilitation. To avoid ankle sprains altogether, preventative measures can be taken. These include wearing appropriately fitting shoes that offer support and stretching before doing any kind of physical activity.

Ankle Fractures

When the ankle experiences trauma, a fracture may occur. An ankle fracture is a break in one of the three bones that connect at the ankle joint: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Causes of fractures can vary, such as an impact to the ankle, a fall, rolling or twisting the ankle, or a gradual increase of stress on the bone over time. Ankle fractures can often occur during exercise, sports, or other physical activities.

General symptoms of an ankle fracture include inflammation, bruising, deformity, and tenderness. Pain when bearing weight and limping due to pain are more telltale signs. While pain is a significant symptom of breakage, a patient who has nerve damage or who has diabetes may not feel this pain. In this instance, your podiatrist will look for additional signs to determine whether a fracture has occurred. If you are experiencing severe pain, cannot walk without limping, have an open wound near the suspected break, or are experiencing numbness or tingling in the toes, you should see your podiatrist.

Ankle Pain

Pain experienced in the ankle can be caused by a multitude of conditions. While the most common cause is an ankle sprain, other possible problems can include arthritis, gout, ankle instability, ankle fracture, nerve compression, or tendinitis. In more serious cases, ankle pain can be a sign of improper alignment of the foot or an infection.

Ankle pain can often be accompanied by symptoms such as redness, swelling, stiffness and warmth in the affected area. Pain can be described differently depending on the condition; short, stabbing pain and a dull ache are some examples. If such symptoms are persistent and do not improve after time, be sure to schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Depending on the condition behind your ankle pain, different treatments may be prescribed by your podiatrist. For ankle sprains, the first step in treatment involves rest, ice, elevation, and compression. Be sure to avoid placing pressure on the ankle, use an ice pack several times a day, and use a compression bandage and elevation to reduce swelling. Other more serious conditions may require the assistance of certain drugs and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, or even cortisone injections.

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