Ankle problems, regardless of their severity, are inconvenient at best. At worst, they will keep you in bed for days. You cannot walk, run, or even drive safely when you have an injury or a condition that affects your ankles.
Some ankle problems can be treated at home when they are mild or benign. But when they are particularly severe, it is best to know the proper treatment for your condition to prevent further injury. Read on to learn some common ankle problems and the best ways to treat them.
Achilles tendinitis is an injury to the Achilles tendon. This tendon is the band of tissue that links your calf to your heel. You may experience Achilles tendinitis if you overuse or overwork this particular body part. For example, you suddenly increase the intensity of your physical activities.
For mild Achilles tendinitis, you may use the R.I.C.E. method:
- Rest — Avoid any activities that put pressure on the ankle affected by the condition.
- Ice — Apply ice on your tendon for around 20 minutes.
- Compress — Wrap your ankle using a bandage, surgical tape, or athletic wrap.
- Elevate — To reduce swelling, lie down with your leg propped on a pillow. When in this position, ensure that your leg is above the height of your heart.
Other non-surgical procedures include:
- Physical therapy — Combines massage, stretching, and strengthening exercises.
- Shockwave therapy — Uses acoustic waves to relieve pain, improve blood flow, and accelerate healing.
If you have a severe case of Achilles tendinitis, non-surgical procedures may not be enough to treat you. In that case, an ankle specialist may recommend an Achilles tendon repair surgery. To confirm surgery is the best choice, you may want to consider visiting a podiatry group equipped to diagnose you and prescribe proper treatment.
Ankle fracture refers to the breaking of one or more bones that make up your ankle joint. These bones are the fibula, the tibia, and the talus. An ankle fracture can range from having a tiny crack in one of your bones to one or more bones getting broken into two or more pieces.
There are two types of ankle fractures:
- Stress fracture — a small crack in the bone, commonly resulting from repetitive trauma.
- Bone fracture — a break that changes the shape of the bone and may happen along or across it.
The treatment for an ankle fracture generally depends on the injury severity, stability, and location. Most stress fractures will not need surgery and only require immobilization using a cast, splint, brace, or boot.
More severe ankle fractures, on the other hand, may require reduction or surgery by an ankle specialist. Reduction is when a foot doctor lines up your broken bones to help them align. Your foot doctor may also conduct surgery and use screws, plates, and frames to ensure the stability of your injured ankle.
A ligament is a fibrous band of tissue that connects your bones at your joint. When the ligament in your ankle joint over-stretches or incurs a tear, that is when you experience an ankle sprain. This injury occurs when your ankle inwardly or awkwardly turns when you run, pivot, or land after a jump.
The treatment for an ankle sprain depends on the severity of the stretch and tear in your ligament. When it is a mild sprain that is manageable and does not come with overbearing pain, you may be able to treat it with the R.I.C.E. method.
However, if your injury is more severe and persistent, you may want to have it checked by an ankle specialist. They can give you an accurate diagnosis of your ankle sprain and recommendations on how to treat it. They can also prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medication to relieve extreme discomfort.
For more extreme circumstances, like in the case of a full ligament tear, you may need to undergo surgery to treat your ankle sprain.
If you undergo a surgical procedure or you experience repeated sprains, your podiatrist may also recommend that you attend physical therapy. It will help safeguard your recovery and assist you in regaining your ankle strength back.
Ankle Specialist in South Texas
Having an ankle problem can disrupt your daily life. Whether you have a mild sprain or something as severe as a fracture, ankle injuries can prevent you from performing normally and feeling your best.
You can trust The Podiatry Group of South Texas for any ankle problems you have. For your convenience, we have 14 locations that offer an extensive array of non-surgical and surgical treatment options.
If you want to know more about ankle problems and the procedures that treat them, call us at (210) 227-8700. You can also schedule an appointment with us using our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back up on your feet!