Ankle injuries can occur playing sport, doing regular exercise or even from just placing your foot down in an awkward position. If you are suffering from an ankle injury, it is important to have it properly diagnosed as early as possible and a treatment started before the ankle stiffens up. Sprained ankles are often more painful and slower to heal than a break to the bone. Once the cause of your ankle pain is determined the treatment options can be considered.
Ankle cartilage can wear away due to arthritis, although ankle deterioration is less common than with other joints like the knee and the hip. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis that have had previous ankle injuries often find that the ankle becomes painful especially in cold wet weather. Some physical therapy and hot and cold compresses can help with pain relief.
One of the most important things for healing an injured ankle is rest and it may be necessary to use crutches for a few weeks to ensure the injured area gets enough rest to properly heal. Correct strapping of the ankle is also important and should be done by a health care professional with an elasticized bandage for support.
Many ankle injuries can be treated without surgery using especially made cast and secure strapping. Other more serious fractures and breaks may need orthopedic surgery to reset the bones, often using pins to hold them in place while they heal. Some pins are removed after the one has healed while others remain in place for the duration of the person’s life.
Physical therapy is important after an ankle injury and teaches special exercises to strengthen the ankle, minimizing the likeliness of repeated injury. Support bandages are often for several months especially when playing sport, until the joint becomes strong.