Ankle injuries commonly occur during sports, work or daily life. The ankle joint is made up or three bones; tibia, fibula and the talus. The tibia and fibula create an arch around the talus, and is held together by 6 main ligaments. Numerous tendons from muscles move the ankle up, down, in and out. The most common injuries to these structures are:
A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched beyond its normal limits and tears, resulting in pain, swelling and decreased movement and strength. Most commonly ligament injuries occur when you roll your ankle when the foot is either flat on the ground, or when the toes are pointing down.
Occur mainly due to repetitive movements, which place too much stress on the muscle and its tendon. This leads to a poor quality repair by the body, which slowly deteriorates further with increased stress. Tendinopathies generally occur in the Achilles’ and Tibialis Posterior tendons in ankle. These can be characterised as having pain with movement that disappears after a few minutes, and cracking feeling along the tendon and pain with stretching the muscle.
The most common area for the ankle to fracture is the ends of the shin bones close to the ankle. These areas are called the malleoli. The ankle usually fracture when a high force is placed through it that makes the ankle roll in/out, twists or gets pushed into the extremes of flexion or extension. The heel bone can also be fractured if a person jumps from a high and lands of the heel, or even during some car accidents.
As there are many different injuries in the ankle, all of which have very general symptoms, if is best to have your ankle pain checked by your physiotherapist. This will allow them to rule out any serious injuries, provide you with a correct diagnosis, treatment plan and resolve your issues.