Ankle sprains are particularly common in sports that tend to stress the joints through activities like running and changing direction. However, athletes are not the only ones who suffer. Statistics show that even 2 million people in the United States alone experience ankle sprains annually, and 85% of injuries affect the outer side of the foot. In such cases, the situation may require evaluation and treatment by a physiatrist, so it is important to recognize when to seek medical help and what proper treatment entails.
What is the ankle joint, and what role does it play?
The upper part of the foot constitutes the ankle joint, a flexible joint that connects the lower leg to the talus bone. In addition to bones, this region has a large number of ligaments that strengthen the joint, giving it elasticity and allowing the feet to bear weight, support the entire load, and enable every movement. It is because of this that the ankle joint can move up and down and left to right, so ligament injuries require treatment to restore full joint function.
How do ankle injuries occur?
Ankle injuries occur when the joint is improperly loaded or placed in an incorrect position, causing the ligament to stretch or tear beyond the normal level of elasticity. In cases where the joint is twisted without ligament rupture, it's considered a first-degree ankle sprain that requires treatment but has a much faster recovery with rest and gradual ankle exercises. Other conditions may require a longer recovery.
Recovery and treatment of ankle injuries must include physical therapy
When an ankle injury occurs, recovery and treatment must involve proper problem detection and the prescription of suitable therapy. The "Fizionova" physiotherapy centre is one of the largest physiatric centres in the Balkans, offering complete diagnostics, prescription, and implementation of therapy, as well as monitoring the recovery process.
For treatment, Protocol No. 8 and Protocol No. 608, as well as FSWT therapy, are used, and through a combined approach, ligament and cartilage recovery is accelerated, swelling is reduced, and joint function is restored. FSWT targeted therapy, conducted on a state-of-the-art device emitting acoustic waves, plays a special role. These waves penetrate various depths and stimulate growth factors, leading to better blood flow in the region and bone and tissue regeneration.
When combined with other therapeutic procedures and recovery monitoring, every patient will quickly experience improvement and a return to normal joint function.
Ankle sprain - what it is and in which cases does ankle distortion occur
Ankle distortion occurs when the joint is forced into an improper position, leading to the stretching of one or more ligaments in the joint. This condition is painful and significantly limits mobility and joint function.
What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?
At the moment of improper weight-bearing on the joint, a sharp and stabbing pain occurs in the ankle joint. The pain also arises when bearing weight on the foot, making walking difficult, often accompanied by limping.
As time goes on, swelling increases, and the joint hurts even more. It becomes challenging to rely on the foot and take every step. The symptoms persist for a long time, so proper immobilization and treatment are the only way to achieve a speedy recovery.
Degrees of ankle sprains
There are three degrees of ankle distortion:
- The mildest form involves stretching of the ligaments and is treated by immobilizing the joint with a bandage for 7 to 10 days, followed by physical therapy if necessary.
- When a patient feels like something has snapped in the joint due to a partial rupture of the ligaments, immobilization is done with a bandage and a plaster splint for a period of 2 to 3 weeks, followed by physical therapy.
- Complete ligament rupture and joint injury require surgery, followed by physical therapy as a means of recovery and the only adequate treatment for an ankle sprain.
Who is most susceptible to ankle injuries?
Athletes are individuals who experience ankle injuries in 30% of cases. However, older people are also prone to improper walking, children, and obese individuals who put excessive strain on their joints and ligaments.
An ankle sprain can happen to anyone. Just stepping on an uneven surface or overloading the joint is enough for the ligament to be affected. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to every step, wear proper footwear, and seek a physiatrist's help at the first sign of trouble to treat the injury adequately.
Those prone to falls and instability must take special care, as every wrong step can cause joint problems.
Ankle sprains in children are a common issue during their growth
Children are active and careless in their play. This is why ankle sprains are very common in children. It is enough for a child to step on a toy and place the joint incorrectly, which can lead to an ankle sprain.
It is important to monitor a child's health, immobilize the joint with an elastic bandage, and apply cold therapy to reduce swelling. If the condition does not improve, it is essential to consult a physician for a more in-depth examination, foot imaging, and recovery monitoring.
Sometimes, physical therapy is needed for recovery, allowing even the youngest patients to quickly and easily resolve issues and regain normal joint function.
What does treatment and recovery look like after an ankle sprain?
In the case of an ankle sprain, treatment and recovery involve resting the joint, reducing swelling, and avoiding overloading the ligaments until the injury is resolved. The condition can last for about ten days, after which the situation should improve, pain occurs less frequently, and the joint can bear weight.
For a second-degree ankle sprain, it is necessary to immobilize the joint with a cast, followed by physical therapy. In the case of a complete ligament rupture and joint injury, surgery is the only solution, followed by physical therapy on the path to recovery.
Fizionova has experienced staff with decades of experience, having treated over 5,000 satisfied patients who live in better overall health. They use kinesiotherapy, electrotherapy, and ultrasonic therapy, and apply acoustic therapy with FSWT-targeted therapy.
During treatment, therapy is adjusted and adapted to the recovery process, always achieving the ultimate goal - preserving joint function and living a pain-free life. Schedule an examination at Fizionova Center by calling 011/21 00 588, and find the best solution for any musculoskeletal system problem!
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SCHEDULE A PHYSIATRIST'S EXAMINATION
Dr Jelena Kluz-Đurđević, a specialist in physical medicine
After a conversation with the patient, Dr. Jelena will conduct an examination to obtain a more comprehensive view of your health status, helping to determine whether it's an injury or a diagnosis.
The examination lasts for 30 minutes and includes: