Ankle pain? Get back on your feet!
Your ankle is a multitasker, it helps support your body's weight and allows you to stand, move and balance. The three major bones include:
- Tibia (shin bone or lower leg bone)
- Fibula (lower leg bone)
- Talus (foot bone)
These bones are held together by ligaments. The foot and ankle shift thanks to a complex system of tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues. Because of its complexity, this joint is particularly vulnerable to injury.
At Thrive, our fellowship-trained orthopedic ankle specialist can treat the most challenging of injuries from ankle sprains to ankle fractures. Our new Atlanta, Georgia surgery center has everything you need to be diagnosed and recover so you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Common Causes of Injury and Pain
Thrive treats a variety of conditions that are the result of not only injuries but disorders, and diseases. Common causes include:
- Fractures - Fractures are most common in the lower leg bones and cause swelling and pain.
- Sprain - The most common cause of pain and the result of an unintentional twist or turn of the foot causing ligaments to tear or stretch.
- High ankle sprain - Similar to a sprain but occurs at the ligament joining the Tibia and Fibula bone. This type of sprain may take longer to heal.
- Bursitis - Fluid-filled sacs that become irritated or inflamed. These sacs are responsible for cushioning your bones as you move.
- Achilles tendon rupture - Usually caused by sports, this rupture occurs when muscle fibers split as a result of tearing.
- Tendonitis - Tendons bind muscles to bones and. Tendonitis is an injury characterized by inflamed and irritated tendons.
- Arthritis - Various types of arthritis may impact you, causing stiffness and pain. When cartilage tissue that cushions bones in joints breaks down, Arthritis develops as a result of bones rubbing together. Osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis are all common types of arthritis that may impact you.
- Flatfoot - Swelling, and pain may occur as a result of low or no foot arch.
Common Treatment Methods
Many injuries can be treated at home without seeing a Thrive orthopedic surgeon. However, what may appear as a simple sprain could be more severe (i.e. hairline fracture), which is why we always recommend seeing a Thrive provider before treating yourself at home. Common treatment methods include:
- Orthotic insoles or more supportive shoes (i.e. avoid sandals)
- Physical therapy or chiropractic care
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or steroid injections
- R.I.C.E - The most common way to treat a soft tissue injury is to Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Surgery - While this is the last resort, common surgeries include:
- Joint aspiration - A needle inserted into the joint to remove the fluid.
- Ankle Arthroscopy - A minimally invasive surgery where a small incision is made in the skin to allow small surgical instruments into the joint to repair and treat.
- Ankle joint replacement
- Syndesmotic screw - Commonly used to treat high ankle sprains by connecting the bones of the lower leg to keep them together while you heal.
- Ankle fusion - While this may limit mobility, fusing the bones may be recommended to relieve severe arthritis.
Thrive's Top Tips for Preventing Injuries or Pain
- Healthy diet and weight - Obesity and excessive weight put pressure and stress on your joints. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight can help prevent unnecessary pressure on your joints.
- Muscle strength - Regular strength exercising will help improve your muscle strength which, in turn, supports your joint to aid in preventing future injury.
- Stretching - Your ligaments, tendons, and muscles need to be warmed up before exercising. Proper stretching will help prepare your joint and avoid injury.
- Seek medical advice if you feel pain - It never hurts to be extra safe by seeking medical advice from an Atlanta ankle doctor. While simple internet searches may help self-diagnose your condition, often underlying conditions may exist which may get exasperated if not treated properly.
If you or your loved one would like to schedule an initial consultation with our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, contact us today.