Foot pain and ankle sprains – most of us are so busy and constantly on the go that we somewhat neglect foot pain, sprains of the ankle and foot, or numb toes until such a time that they reach a point where day-to-day activities and walking become debilitating. Even if we take action, we often overlook the root cause of such problems, which means they are never well and truly cured.
Men and women frequently hurt their ankles by going over or rolling them in various ways. Football injuries, stepping off a curb or a step without paying attention, or twisting your ankle when on a night out with fancy heels are all prevalent stories that foot surgeons routinely hear.
Most sprains are followed by quite a worrisome bruising and pain, and most likely, trips to A&E show no bony injuries on X-rays. Sometimes, there can be associated fractures, like those of the 5th metatarsal, due to the pull on this bone from the attached tendon, or in some cases, hairline fractures of the fibula, which do not get picked up on routine X-rays.
Sprains have a significant component of ligament tears to the lateral ankle ligaments, which often need assessment by musculoskeletal specialists at Week-1 or ten days post-injury for a detailed examination. There needs to be a high index of suspicion for potential instability as a consequence of such injuries.
Dynamic ultrasound scans or M.R.I. scans in cases of a painful ankle can diagnose most ligament tears and associated issues, including tears of the syndesmotic ligaments and cartilage damage in the ankle.
Most often than not, treatment is supportive and works on managing the acute phase of the swelling and pain by providing protected weight-bearing and rest, instituting an early period of resumed activity and rehabilitation once the acute phase settles. The brilliant physio knows when to commence proprioceptive work in balance board exercises and ankle strengthening, mostly around 8 to 10 weeks’ post-injury.
In most cases of isolated ankle sprains and Grade 1 & 2 ligament injuries, one can expect a return to pre-injury status within 3 to 6 months. However, early intervention from an Orthopedic Surgeon may be required in a minority of cases and those with high sporting demands.
Most ankle sprains are harmless and recover well with the right advice and support. In rehabilitation, one should not hesitate to seek specialist orthopedic advice if the injured ankle or foot continues to be swollen, painful, or bruised or if the patient complains of instability.
Confident Clinic aims to provide world-class, evidence-based treatment for various Orthopedic disorders. We combine our expertise in patient care and clinical research to provide our patients with the highest level of specialized services. The Department of Orthopedic Surgery comprises a multispecialty group of surgical, and clinical doctors who care for thousands of people annually.
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