Acute ankle injuries, including sprains, strains, and fractures, arise suddenly, often from unexpected mishaps. These immediate injuries, contrasting with the slow development of chronic ones, result from twisted ankles, overstretched muscles, or significant impacts, and they demand prompt attention and suitable treatment.
An ankle sprain, a prevalent sports injury, typically happens when you roll your ankle inward.
Key symptoms to identify this injury include:
- Immediate pain, which could either spread throughout the joint or focus on the outside of your ankle, precisely where the damaged ligaments reside.
- Swelling, which could surface right after the injury or gradually over the next 48 hours.
- Bruising, which might become noticeable within the subsequent 48 hours.
Eversion Ankle Sprain
An eversion ankle sprain is rare and occurs when the ankle rolls too far inwards.
- The ligaments on the inside of the ankle are torn.
- An eversion sprain often occurs in conjunction with a fractured fibula bone.
High Ankle Sprain
A high ankle sprain involves a tear in the anterior tibiofibular ligament located at the top of the ankle. It’s a severe injury that can pose difficulties in treatment.
Key indicators of a high ankle sprain include:
- Pain concentrated on the tibiofibular ligament.
- Swelling or bruising appears at the site of the injury.
Patients will likely face challenges while walking due to the injury. In severe cases, damage can extend to the syndesmosis, the membrane connecting the Tibia and Fibula.
Additionally, it’s important to note that a high ankle sprain may sometimes coincide with a fracture in one of the lower leg bones.
Ankle fractures & dislocations
In the event that you suspect an ankle fracture, it’s critical that you secure professional medical help immediately.
- The signs of a broken ankle frequently resemble a severe sprain, including sudden pain accompanied by rapid joint swelling.
- Fractures might occur to the lateral malleoli on the outer side or the medial malleoli on the inner side.
- Take note that differentiating a fracture from a sprain may pose challenges at times.
- For a definitive fracture diagnosis, an X-ray becomes an indispensable tool.
- In the case of an ankle dislocation, this represents a serious injury that calls for urgent medical attention.
Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus
Osteochondral lesions represent fractures in the durable, smooth cartilage that shields the ends of bones.
- These injuries typically involve the talus bone, situated above the calcaneus or heel bone, and often fracture in association with an ankle sprain.
- Consequently, the diagnosis of osteochondral fractures frequently occurs at a later stage, typically when the injury exhibits poor healing progress.
Ankle Avulsion Fracture
An ankle avulsion fracture involves the detachment of a tendon or ligament from the bone, usually taking along a small piece of bone.
- Symptoms of this type of fracture closely resemble those of a standard sprained ankle, making it challenging to distinguish between the two without medical imaging.
- Thus, an X-ray or MRI scan becomes critical in correctly identifying an ankle avulsion fracture.