Injuries to the ankle are among the most common of all injuries, and many people believe they can treat this type of injury themselves. Unfortunately, without initial proper evaluation and treatment, an injured ankle may not heal properly, resulting in chronic problems. Twists and sprains that happened a long time ago can go on to cause new pain and discomfort.
Chronic complications from an old ankle injury
Two of the chronic problems that may arise from an improperly treated ankle injury include:
- Instability—Twisting your ankle may cause a loosening of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work together to keep the ankle joint together. These components require slow strengthening over several months after an injury to ensure complete repair has occurred. If proper rehabilitation is not undertaken, you could be left with an ankle that is too weak and unstable and more susceptible to reinjury.
- Stiffness—Another possible risk brought about by incomplete treatment of a previous injury to the ankle is that you can lose the full range of motion of your ankle joint, along with pain and stiffness. This decrease in movement range affects the way you walk and may lead to additional pain and discomfort in the knees, back, and hips.
Treatment of a previous ankle injury
These exercises and treatments may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Ankle supports or braces
- Calf stretches
- Single-leg balancing exercises
- Steroid Injections
- Surgery for severe problems, followed by a rigorous post-surgical physical therapy regimen
If you are experiencing instability and stiffness from an old ankle injury, see your podiatrist. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Scott E. Hughes, DPM, Greg P. Vogt, DPM, and Christine I. Tumele, DPM of Foot & Ankle Specialists, P.C. in our Monroe Office in Monroe, MI or our Lambertville Office is an expert in proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our offices.