Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries people suffer on a daily basis, especially during exercise or athletic activity. But not all ankle injuries are the same. Some are minor, some are mild, and some do major damage. Today, we take a look at five of the most common ankle injuries that people suffer.
Common Ankle Injuries
Here’s a look at five ankle injuries that we see in our office all the time.
1. Inversion Ankle Sprain – This probably is the most common ankle injury that occurs to the average person. An inversion sprain occurs when your ankle twists into an inverted state, or in other words, when it rolls inward. When your foot rolls in this direction, the ligaments on the outside of your ankle – the lateral ligaments – become stretched. Estimates suggest that roughly 80-90 percent of all ankle sprains are inversion sprains. Recovery can take a day or two, or it can months if it is severe enough.
2. Eversion Ankle Sprain – An eversion sprain is the opposite of an inversion sprain in that your foot twists outward during this type of sprain. These injuries affect the more stable ligaments on the inside of your ankle, the medial and deltoid ligaments. Only about 10-20 percent of ankle sprains are classified as eversion sprains, and oftentimes they are more severe than inversion sprains. They can take a couple days or months to heal depending on how much damage was done to the medial and deltoid ligaments.
3. Syndesmotic Sprain (High Ankle Sprain) – A third common ankle injury is a high ankle sprain. This injury involves a sprain of the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula in the lower leg. Unlike lateral ankle sprains, high ankle sprains are caused when the lower leg and the foot externally rotates or twists outward. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are the best way to treat these injuries. Common in football players who suffer the injury while being tackled, high ankle sprains generally take a couple of weeks to fully heal.
4. Ankle Fractures – An ankle fracture involves breaking one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint. These injuries can range from a small break in one bone which may not prevent you from walking on the ankle, to a larger or multiple fractures that may require surgery to stabilize the bones. Oftentimes ankle fractures also involve injuries to the ligaments that hold the ankle bones and joint in place. If you need surgery for your fracture, it usually takes 3-4 months to return to normal activities, but return to sporting activities may take longer.
5. Ankle Dislocation – An ankle dislocation occurs when significant damage occurs due to a sudden force in the ankle causing it to flex outside its range of normal motion. However, due to the force needed in order to dislocate an ankle, oftentimes this injury also involves some fracturing of one or more of the ankle bones. Surgery with plates and screws is normally needed to fix and stabilize the ankle joint. Recovery can take between 6-10 weeks.