One of the most common foot and ankle injuries is a sprained ankle – it also happens to be one of the more common causes of ongoing ankle problems.
A twisting or rolling action of your ankle can lead to damage to the supporting ligaments around the ankle joint, resulting in pain, swelling and sometimes bruising.
Our team of highly experienced surgeons and sports medicine professionals is led by renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Simon Moyes. We are dedicated to diagnosing and treating your torn ankle ligament injury quickly with the least amount of intervention.
For more information about treating a torn ankle ligament injury or any ankle pain, contact Simon Moyes and the Capital Orthopaedics team here.
Your ankle joint forms the connection between your lower leg bones (tibia and fibula), your talus (ankle bone) and your heel bone (calcaneus).
These bones are connected and stabilised by a system of ligaments, tendons and muscles.
The strong, fibrous ligaments attach bone to bone – and can be torn or stretched as a result of a wrenching movement or an impact.
There are four types of ankle sprain:
The most common way to tear a ligament in your ankle is by rolling or twisting your ankle inwards.
It’s likely to happen as you’re walking or running on uneven ground, or suddenly changing direction.
These ankle injuries are also typical sporting injuries (whether it’s football, basketball, just going out for a jog or wearing high heels).
Ankle ligament tears can also be caused by a side impact, making them a regular occurrence in contact sports like rugby.
You can feel sudden pain, and a tearing, snapping or popping sensation – which might be so bad you can’t put weight on your foot – and swelling around your ankle joint. In some cases, there may bruising that extends down your foot and up your calf.
With more severe tears, your ankle can continue to feel unstable and wobbly as you walk or try to run, even after the swelling has gone down.
You may also hear a clicking, grinding sound as you move your foot.
A sprained ankle can be initially treated at home with Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Over the counter anti-inflammatories can help reduce the swelling and pain.
You should always see a specialist after an ankle sprain, as Grade III injuries need imaging and immobilisation.
A careful history and examination of your ankle is performed by one of our consultants.
Scans (MRI or ultrasound) are used to confirm the level of damage to the ligaments and also to exclude other injuries such as cartilage damage or tendon injury.
After an expert interpretation of your scans by our radiologists and surgeons, treatment is initiated.
If you have completely torn your ankle ligaments (a Grade III injury), we will need to immobilise your ankle in a walking boot for three weeks this will then be followed up by a further assessment and physiotherapy
If you have only partially torn your ligaments, then you can go straight to physiotherapy to mobilise and strengthen your ankle. Our team of physiotherapists will help strengthen your ankle and get you back to day-to-day activities and sport as quickly as possible.
If you fail to respond to nonoperative management, you may require surgical reconstruction of your ligaments and repair of any other damage structures in your ankle joint. This will be carried out by one of our highly experienced surgeons led by Simon Moyes.
For all foot and ankle problems, Simon Moyes and the Capital Orthopaedics team offers expert diagnosis and treatment aimed at getting you back to full strength and mobility quickly and with minimal intervention.
If you have ongoing pain, swelling or instability in your ankle, contact us here to begin your recovery.
Capital Orthopaedics works out of three central London locations – internationally renowned private hospital The Cromwell Hospital, the Basinghall Clinic in The City and Platinum Medical Centre near Regent’s Park, where our patients benefit from from state-of-the-art diagnostics, the latest in surgical techniques, highly trained medical support staff, and dedicated physiotherapy studios.
Yes – a torn or stretched ankle ligament is described as an ankle sprain.
A mild ankle sprain is usually a stretched ligament or a minor tear.
A ligament tear can cause more serious problems, including chronic ankle instability, broken pieces of bone and cartilage and osteoarthritis (degeneration of the bones in your joint).
An ankle strain is used to describe damaged tendons or muscles in your ankle, rather than the ligaments. It is possible to strain and sprain your ankle at the same time.
It depends on the grade of the tear and the amount of physiotherapy you do.
Minor ligament injuries (Grade I) can take 4-6 weeks with physiotherapy.
Total rupture of one or more ankle ligaments (Grade II or Grade III) can take two months or more before you are fully recovered.
Complete recovery from surgical repair for a torn ankle ligament can take 3-6 months.
If you don’t apply correct treatment or surgical repair for torn ankle ligaments, you are likely to end up with chronic instability.
Ankle instability can lead to other problems. The structures of the joint can be damaged by too much movement or repeated sprains. This can result in impingement (trapped connective and other soft tissues in the joint), damage to cartilage (the smooth coating on the bones) and osteoarthritis (degeneration of the bones in your joint).
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