Tear of the ligaments during ankle sprain The ankle joint is the joint that connects the leg to the foot. This joint is formed by three bones, the tibia, the cane bone and the "talus" bone located in the foot. The most extreme part of the shinbone is in the inner part of the ankle, and the extreme part of the cane can be felt clearly on the forehead of the skin on the outer part of the ankle. These three bones are connected by very strong ligaments. These ligaments prevent the foot from making abnormal movements such as rotation and sprains. Bonds are flexible structures. However, after excessive strain, tears may occur in the elastic fibers of these ligaments.
The ankle joint is one of the most frequently injured joints. Ankle injury may occur not only after sportive activities but also during daily activities. Usually, ligaments can be torn as a result of turning the foot in or out on an uneven ground.
Typical appearance of ankle sprain: Swelling occurs around the ankle due to bleeding and edema after an ankle sprain. Ankle movements are painful. Although it is usually painful, the patient can step on his foot. A few days after the sprain, there may be bruising at the site of the swelling due to the bleeding that occurs. This is an expected finding. The most frequently injured ligament of the ankle is the anterior part of the external lateral ligament.
What to do in the first stage
After an ankle sprains, the patient usually starts the first treatment himself. At this stage, the aim is primarily to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
It is the most effective method in reducing pain. It also contributes to the healing process by reducing edema and swelling. It is inconvenient to put ice directly on the skin. It is more convenient to put it over a towel. Ice application is done for 20 minutes and this period can be repeated with 30 minutes intervals.
If possible, it should not be stepped on the injured ankle for two to three days. Crutches can be used during this time. If the swelling in the ankle is excessive, your doctor may apply a temporary plaster cast for a few days.
The elastic bandage starting from the toes, provided that it is not too tight, helps to reduce the swelling.
Don't keep the leg high
It is necessary to keep the foot above the chest as much as possible for two to three days. This application also helps reduce swelling.
Depending on the degree of pain, simple painkillers or drugs that have both analgesic and edema-reducing effects can be used. It is better to consult your doctor while taking medication.
Can be used after sprains
An example of ankle bracelets special wristbands for sprains can be used to support the ankle in the healing process and to reduce pain. These allow the ankle to move up and down but prevent sprains. Sports can be done with some of them.
Situations that require urgent consultation with a doctor
• Inability to control the pain despite the above applications
An abnormal deformity rather than swelling in the ankle
• Excessive sensitivity on bone protrusions inside and outside of the ankle
Inability to walk on the foot
Swelling in the back of the ankle or towards the upper part of the leg
In these cases, it is more appropriate to consult a doctor as there may be broken bones or tears in the tendons of the muscles.
The healing process
After ankle sprains, complaints such as pain and swelling usually regress within two weeks. If your complaint continues after this period, it is more appropriate to consult an orthopedic specialist. After the painful period, it is necessary to start working the ankle movements in order to prevent any limitation in the ankle joint movements in the future. Physical therapy support can also be obtained during this period.
Recovery rate after ankle sprains is between 80-90% and surgical treatment is seldom required. However, it takes four to six weeks for the ligaments to heal completely. The new strains that will occur before the ankle ligaments heal completely will affect the healing of the ligaments negatively and will create a basis for future recurrent sprains. One of the reasons for recurrent sprains is impaired muscle balance due to weakening of the muscles. Recurrent sprains cause insecurity and chronic pain in the ankle.
If you still have symptoms after two months after the sprain, it is appropriate to see your doctor again. Having complaints after this period may be due to cartilage damage in the joint, loose healing of the ligaments or soft tissue compression. Your doctor will make the necessary treatment after revealing this problem with a series of examinations including MRI.
Things to do to avoid an ankle sprain
• Warm up before exercise
• wearing suitable shoes
• To use special ankles during sports in cases of recurrent sprains
• Paying attention to the ground where sports or walking
• To strengthen the muscles around the ankle