The ankle is one of the most injured joints of the body. Strains and sprains reign in ankle injuries, but tendinitis, bursitis, and fractures also happen.
The ankle is the juncture of three bones: the tibia and fibula of the lower leg and the talus of the foot (the ankle bone).
Held together by liaments and tendons, the ankle allows the foot a Wide range of motion. Because of the ankles crucial role in walking and standing ankle injuries should be taken seriously and treated properly.
Strains, Sprains, and Fractures
Twisting your ankle may cause stretching or tearing of the ligaments and tendons This most often occurs on the outside of the ankle. Mild strains or sprains may cause mild to moderate pain and little or no swelling. The ankle can support weight, but usually a limp is apparent. Moderate sprains hurt more when you move, and swelling and tenderness increase. Walking is hard and often crutches are needed for a few days.
A sprain is generally severe when the ligament and tendons are stretched or completely torn (ruptured). Severe sprains are accompanied by severe Pain, swelling and tenderness, limited motion, bruising, and inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle. Moderate and severe sprains also may cause bruising of the foot and toes, and up the side of the leg.
Achilles Tendinitis and Bursitis
Tendinitis and bursitis at the back of the ankle are very much alike. The treatment, causes, and symptoms of the two are similar. The Achilles tendon is a large strong band that attaches the calf muscle to the heel. Underneath the Achilles tendon are bursas that may also become inflamed.
Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain in the calf and ankle, which is worse when you wake up in the morning and generally better as the ankle is “warmed up” with use. Occasionally, with an improper warm-up or sudden movement, the Achilles tendon can tear or even rupture. Any deformity in the calf should be seen by a medical provider right away. Bursitis usually causes a soft, fluid-filled lump at the back of the ankle, along with pain similar to that of tendinitis.
Common causes of tendinitis and bursitis in the ankle include tight calf muscles, overuse, sudden stress from a quick movement, and repeated motion, such as running. Shoes are often the culprit. Switching from high heels or cowboy boots to flat shoes, or wearing shoes that fit poorly or provide inadequate support and cushioning can also inflame tendons and bursas in the ankle.
Sudden pain, swelling, redness, and extreme tenderness in a joint can be signs of an acute attack of gout. Most often gout begins in the big toe, but may move up the leg to other joints, including the ankle and knee. If you have these ymptoms of gout, consult the doctor. Gout can be treat e effectively.
Swelling without Injury
Sitting or standing for long periods without moving may cause the ankles and feet to swell. This type of swelling usually goes away overnight or lasts only a few days. Occasionally, swollen ankles can be a sign of something more serious. If your ankles remain swollen for more than 3 days or if just one leg is affected, consult the physician.
Stay off the ankle as much as possible until the swelling stops, usually about 24 to 48 hours.
Use crutches if bearing weight is painful.
If swelling lasts longer than 3 days, alternately soak the ankle in cold water (45 to 600° F) for 1 minute and then in warm water (1000 to 105° F) for 2 or 3 minutes, Do this for 15 to 20 minutes total, and stop if swelling increases, Print the alphabet in the air with Your big toe to help increase range of motion.
As the swelling and pain decrease, begin gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to regain range of motion.
Avoid bearing weight on the ankle for 24 to 48 hours. If pain and swelling are worse after 24 hours, medical care should be given. If you still can’t bear weight on the ankle after 48 hours, see your medical provider. As the swelling and pain decrease, begin gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to regain range of motion.
Tendinitis and bursitis
Decrease activity for 1 to 2 weeks or until fairly pain free. Apply heat to the area before stretching, and ice when you have finished. If there is no improvement in 10 to 14 days, call the doctor.
Consult the physician, if you think you might have gout.
If your ankles swell after you have been sitting or standing for a long time, raise your legs. Increase activity and movement to prevent swelling. If swelling continues longer than 3 days or if there is pain without injury, call the advice nurse.
Signs and Symptom that needs care
- Pain at back of ankle begins slowly and may be worse when you wake up (Achilles tendinitis).
- No improvement of tendinitis symptoms after 10 to 14 days.
Unable to bear any weight at all.
- Pain and swelling increasing 24 hours after injury.
- Red/warm/swollen ankles; fever; feeling ill or having recently been ill with a sore throat or skin infection.
- Chronic swelling in ankles, feet or lower legs; difficulty breathing.
Swelling in only one ankle or leg with pain, no injury.
- Pain On inner side of ankle; ankle twisted inward when injury occurred.
Swelling, pain, and possible bruising from sudden twist or force.