Torn Ankle Ligament Injury

Ankle Conditions and Injuries: Torn Ankle Ligament Injury

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.

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What Is a Torn Ligament in the Ankle?

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:

  • Grade I – stretched ligament or a very mild tear, with little or no instability at the joint.
  • Grade II – more serious but still incomplete tear, with some looseness in the joint.
  • Grade III – completely torn or ruptured ligament. It can feel like a broken bone, since it’s often impossible to put weight on the joint or use it because the joint isn’t stable.
  • Grade IV – two or more ligaments are ruptured

What Causes a Ligament Tear in the Ankle?

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.

What Are the Symptoms of a Torn Ligament in an Ankle?

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.

How Do You Treat a Torn Ankle Ligament Injury?

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.

How Capital Orthopaedics Can Help Treat Your Torn Ankle Ligament Injury 

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.

Get in touch

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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