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Ankle Injuries: Causes and Treatments

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What Causes Ankle Injuries?

An ankle injury occurs when the ankle joint is twisted too far out of its normal position.  Most ankle injuries occur either during sports activities or while walking on an uneven surface that forces the foot and ankle into an unnatural position. The unnatural position of the ankle in high-heeled shoes or walking in unstable, loose-fitting clogs or sandals is also a factor that may contribute to ankle injuries. In addition to wearing faulty footwear, an ankle injury can happen as a result of:

  • Tripping or falling
  • Landing awkwardly after a jump
  • Walking or running on uneven surfaces
  • A sudden impact such as a car crash
  • Twisting or rotating the ankle
  • Rolling the ankle

 

Are There Different Signs for Different Ankle Injuries?

The symptoms of a sprain and of a fracture are very similar. In fact, fractures can sometimes be mistaken for sprains. That's why it's important to have an ankle injury evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. The signs include:

  • Pain, often sudden and severe
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to walk or bear weight on the injured joint

With a sprain, the ankle may also be stiff.  With a fracture the area will be tender to the touch, and the ankle may also look deformed or out of place.

If the sprain is mild, the swelling and pain may be slight. But with a severe sprain, there is much swelling and the pain is typically intense.

Tendinitis and acute tears of the peroneal tendon result in both pain and swelling. In addition, the ankle area will feel warm to the touch with tendinitis. With an acute tear, there will be a weakness or instability of the foot and ankle.

Tendinosis may take years to develop. Symptoms include:

  • Sporadic pain on the outside of the ankle
  • Weakness or instability in the ankle
  • An increase in the height of the foot's arch

With the subluxation you will notice ankle instability or weakness. You also may notice sporadic pain behind the outside ankle bone and a "snapping" feeling around the ankle bone.

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