Ankle sprains are a fairly common injury that occurs when the ankle bones twist so severely that they cause the ligaments surrounding the bones to stretch way beyond their normal range or even tear. One of the reasons that we at Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle urge our patients to seek treatment immediately for ankle sprains is that if a sprain doesn’t heal properly, the ankle is left weaker and the patient is more likely to sprain it again and again. Two conditions that can result from multiple ankle sprains are Osteochondritis and Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain.
Osteochondritis: Symptoms of this disorder may in fact resemble an ankle sprain. In addition to stiffness and pain, your ankle swells and it is difficult to put any weight on it. The causes of osteochondritis are fractures or lesions that form on the surface of the joint due to previous ankle injuries. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh, will confirm that your symptoms are from osteochondritis and not another sprain by taking a digital x-ray to actually see if there are fractures visible on the joint surface. (You can have the x-ray taken in either our Edmond or Norman office.)
Treatment: First, the joint needs to be immobilized (which means immobilizing your foot and ankle) to give it a chance to rest and heal. In some cases surgery may be required to remove bone fragments and cartilage from the ankle joint.
Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain: With this condition you may experience pain in your lower leg and on the outsides of your ankle. The ankle may feel stiff or tender and be swollen. You may also have the sense that your ankle is unstable and will “give out” on uneven surfaces or when wearing shoe with a high heel.
Treatment: The foot doctor may recommend physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the ankle muscles and improve their range of motion. You may be given ankle supports or braces to wear to help prevent the ankle twisting when walking and doing other activities. If you are in a good deal of pain or the swelling is excessive, the foot doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory or steroidal medications.
The key to preventing further injury or weakening of the ankle is to not wait to get medical evaluation when symptoms appear and also to follow all of the podiatrist’s instructions and allow your ankle sufficient time to heal before going back to using it fully. If you have suffered multiple ankle sprains and are experiencing any pain or swelling, make an appointment at one of our Oklahoma City area offices today by calling: (405) 285-7408.