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How to Prevent Ankle Injury Complications

How to Prevent Ankle Injury Complications

Injured ankles are a common problem. In fact, about a third of sports injuries are related to this small but mighty joint, making ankle injuries one of the most common musculoskeletal problems. 

When an ankle injury isn’t treated properly, it might not heal correctly. This can lead to chronic complications in your joint. Chronic instability is the most common condition, leading to pain, swelling, inflammation, and a higher risk of future ankle injuries.  

The good news is that the board-certified podiatrists at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers offer a complete line of podiatric services to treat many foot and ankle problems — including ankle injuries. 

Our providers also know prevention and education are key to saving your joints’ health. We put together this informative post to help you better understand how to prevent complications like chronic instability. Here’s what you need to know:    

Understanding the ankle and ankle injuries

Your ankle joint is small but complex, with different parts, like tendons, ligaments, and bones. When any one element is displaced, it can cause an injury. 

Two of the most common ankle injuries are ankle sprains and fractures. You can get a sprain or fracture from any physical motion or accident that stresses the ankle joint at an irregular angle. 

You have an ankle fracture when there’s a break or crack in one or more of the bones in the joint. However, if the damage occurs to the ligament, you have an ankle sprain. Here are some symptoms of ankle sprains and fractures:

Symptoms of an ankle sprain

With an ankle sprain, you can usually bear weight on your ankle immediately after the injury occurs or within several hours. 

Symptoms of an ankle fracture

With an ankle fracture, you cannot bear weight on your ankle immediately after the injury and days or hours after it takes place. 

Preventing complications after an ankle injury

The most common complication after an ankle injury is a condition called chronic ankle instability. With this complication, your foot “gives way” and rolls inward frequently. 

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our providers regularly help patients with chronic instability. Symptoms that you’ve developed this condition include: 

Chronic ankle instability increases your risk of re-injuring your ankle — even when you’re not playing sports or making high-risk motions. Walking on gravel, trails, or uneven surfaces is just as risky for people with this condition. 

The best way to keep an ankle injury from developing into a chronic complication is to seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment for any ankle issue. Your Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers podiatrist assesses your ankle and develops a personalized treatment plan.

While you wait for your evaluation, you can take these precautions to prevent chronic instability from developing: 

After seeing your podiatrist, carefully follow your doctor’s advice, as this reduces your risk of developing instability after the injury. This helps you fully recover, further lowering your risk of chronic instability.

Depending on your injury and the severity of your condition, you may need one or more of the following treatments:

If you’ve had a recent ankle injury, don’t wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Center to help prevent future ankle complications.

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