Ankle Injuries

Lateral Ankle Inversion Sprain:

This injury is typically found in athletics when an individual “rolls” their ankle. Often times, this injury is characterized by swelling at the outside ankle bone (lateral malleolus) with possible bruising if the injury is severe enough. An ankle sprain results in damage to the ligaments of the outer ankle, although a small fracture can occur at the outer ankle bone. Initial management of this injury should include rest, ice with compression, and elevation of the leg to decrease swelling.

Achilles Tendonitis:

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon found at the back side of the foot and ankle. This tendon attaches the calf muscles to the ankle and allows the ankle to be pointed in a downward position and propel us when we walk. This tendon injury is characterized by pain with walking and swelling and tenderness at the tendon. The tendon will typically feel worse with walking and running.

Peroneal Tendonitis:

The peroneal tendons are the tendons at the outside of the ankle. In some instances, these tendons can become injured resulting in swelling and pain at the outside of the ankle, slightly underneath the outer ankle bone. These tendons can also be injured following a lateral ankle sprain when the peroneal muscle is forced to contract quickly to prevent the ankle from rolling inward too far. Ice and compression is helpful in managing this injury acutely but if pain persists, seeking medical attention may be helpful in resolving the injury completely.

Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis:

The posterior tibialis muscle is found at the inner aspect of the lower leg with the tendon extending down the leg and along the inner aspect of the foot.  The function of this muscle and tendon is to support the arch of the foot.  This tendon can become injured with running and also if the foot pronates or collapses too much. In this instance, the muscle and tendon become overworked resulting in swelling and irritation of the tendon.  Often, this injury requires a biomechanical assessment by a medical professional to resolve aggravating factors and resolve the injury. Initial management can include ice and rest.

Stress fractures:

A stress fracture can occur in any bone; however, one area common for injury is at the 5th metatarsal or the lateral bone of the foot. Usually the area of the fracture is point tender and feels worse with running and sometimes with walking.  A stress fracture is typically diagnosed with the use of a bone scan or an MRI.

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