Our active lifestyles are to blame (to a point) for ending up with one of the many common ankle injuries experienced today. It’s because our lives are being filled with so much motion that injuries occur to the ankle region quite frequently.
In fact, it is ankle injuries that are the most common problem that are sending people to emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and doctor’s offices on a daily basis. Either from exercise or athletic activity, sooner or later you are going to experience an ankle injury.
However, no two ankle injuries are the same as some are minor, others are rated as mild and there are those that result in major damage.
Common Ankle Injuries Explained
Here’s a is an explanation of what is considered the five common ankle injuries that tend to occur the most today.
1. The Inversion Sprain
Although you may not realize it, this is the most common ankle injury and if you are reading this topic, chances are you have experienced it before. When your ankle rolls inward, you have an inverted ankle sprain. What actually happens when your ankle rolls in the inverted direction is it stretches the lateral ligaments on the outside of your ankle. Inversion sprains account for around 85-percent of all ankle injuries and can take anywhere from a day to months to fully recover from. It depends on the severity of the injury.
2. The Eversion Sprain
If you can sprain your ankle with an inward twist – the inversion sprain – it only makes sense that the opposite can also occur. When your foot twists outwards, it can result in an eversion sprain. The ligaments located on the inside of your ankle are the medial and deltoid ligaments and they happen to be more stable than the lateral ligaments on the outside of your ankle. Roughly 10-percent of all ankle sprains are of this variety and an eversion sprain is often more serious than an inversion sprain. This means recovery can take days or even months to heal.
3. The High Ankle Sprain
This type of sprain involves the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the lower leg bones – the tibia and fibula. A high ankle sprain occurs when the lower leg and foot rotates or twists outwards. It is a common injury seen in sports, particularly football and is often suffered when a football player is being tackled. Although this type of injury requires rest, ice, elevation and compression to remedy, it will take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to fully heal. Your doctor will also likely recommend that you wear an ankle compression sleeve when doing any kind of sporting activity. This will help prevent a reoccurrence of the injury and ensure your ankle has the support it needs.
4. The Fracture
Ankle fractures are serious business. They involve a break in one or more of the bones that are part of the ankle joint. The type of fracture can vary considerably from a small break in one bone that will keep you off your feet for awhile to multiple fractures that require surgery to correct. Fractures almost always include ligament damage. For breaks that require surgery, recovery can take several months and you may need longer before you can resume any vigorous activity.
5. The Dislocation
An ankle dislocation is much the same as any other type of bone dislocation. It occurs when force causes the ankle to flex outside of its normal range of motion. This is commonly caused by an accident, fall or some other sudden force of impact. Often with this type of injury, a dislocation can also fracture one or more of the bones in the ankle joint. Surgery is the only answer to this type of injury and that will most likely require plates, screws and additional stabilization tools to bring the bones back into place to heal properly. Recovery often takes several months and sometimes the severity of the injury may reduce normal range of motion even after healing has completed. It may mean a limp or other side effect.
Common Ankle Injuries Should Not Be Ignored
Pain and swelling should be your first clues that something is wrong with your ankle. Ice and wrap it as soon as possible and see a medical professional who can properly diagnose the extent of the injury. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a minor injury, you still have to treat it as if it is a serious injury in order to have it heal properly. If you follow the guidelines set by your doctor, get lots of good quality sleep, you’ll have the best chances of recovering from any of these common ankle injuries and be back on your feet in no time.