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9

Different Types of Ankle Injuries

Form Fit Ankle SupportThe main function of the foot is to support our body weight as well as giving us the ability to walk and run and remain mobile. Playing such a pivotal role to our mobility the foot and ankle are often susceptible to injury, typically from overuse. Each injury is completely different depending on its severity and the individual concerned, as we all react differently to injury and have different recovery times.

Ankle injuries are common place both in sport and in everyday life, with over 1 million admissions to A&E each year with varying levels of severity and recovery times, from a sprained ankle to ligament damage or even a broken ankle.

Bone Anatomy

The ankle joint is actually made up of two separate joints with one providing the upwards movement and the other the downwards movement. The joint is formed where the tibia and fibula meet at the bottom of the leg with the talus bone in the foot, thus creating the ankle joint. The heel-bone (calcaneus) forms the subtalar joint with the talus bone, which provides the sideways movement of the foot. The foot is made up of the talus and calcaneal bones, seven tarsal bones, five metatarsals and fourteen phalanges which form the toes.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is one of the most common form of ankle injuries sustained and something which all of us are likely to experience at some stage. The sprain itself occurs where mild damage is sustained to the ligaments within the joint resulting in pain, inflammation and reduced mobility.

It is largely a self-limiting condition and following a few days of rest you should be able to carry on with weight bearing activities once again. A compression based ankle support can also help with the management of inflammation should it be required.

Ankle Ligament Damage

Following a serious sprain or fall the ligaments within the joint may become ruptured or torn, leading to a lengthier spell on the sidelines. In more serious cases surgery may be required in order to repair the damaged ligaments, which are the tough bands of tissue connecting the bones within the joint and responsible for its overall stability.

A ligament based ankle support may also be used as part of rehabilitation, with the external strapping acting as a ligament in order to support the joint and keep you mobile. It is essential to strengthen the joint in order to minimise the risk of injuries in the future.

Broken Ankle

This is obviously the most serious of ankle injuries and can require surgery in order to reset the bone followed by casting of the use of a walker boot to help protect the ankle and allow it to heal properly.

Following this initial treatment phase a rigid ankle support may be used, to help minimise the risk of the ankle rolling, in conjunction with physiotherapy to help strengthen the joint once again.

If you are unsure as to the severity of an injury and the conditions fails to improve following a few days of rest then you should seek a professional diagnosis.