One of the commonly injured joint in the lower extremity is our ankle. The main reason for this is the fact that the ankle bears most of our body weight. Sprains and strains in the ankles accounts to 2 million treatments each year. Fractures in the ankle are common injuries podiatrist and orthopedists treats.
Since the ankle has a lot of ligamentous and tendinous support, and considering the configuration of its bones, injury to these structures may lead to ankle discomfort and pain. Some of the precursors of ankle problems are enumerated below.
Ankle Sprain is one, if not the most common sports-related injury in the ankle. It is a result of overstretching of its collateral ligament. Depending on the intensity, a minor or complete rupture of the ligament may occur. The sprain can be classified depending on how severe the rupture is. High impact sports activities which include walking, jumping and running may cause ankle sprain. During weight bearing activities, pain may be felt with any movement in the ankle joint.
The large tendon posterior to the heel is called the Achilles tendon. It is named after a Greek Mythology hero named Achilles whose body is indestructible except for his heel.This condition is an overuse injury, microscopic ruptures in the Achilles tendon occurs after repetitive use. Edema and pain will appear as the condition becomes more sever.
Stress fracture is another condition brought about by overuse of the bone. A microscopic crack will happen if the bone is subjected to frequent impact. When the muscle is weak or fatigued, its shock absorbing properties decreases. The absorption of the impact will then be transferred to the bones which can lead to development of stress fracture. Weight bearing on the affected area, especially high impact activities like jumping and running will cause pain and discomfort.
Osteoarthrithis and Rheumatoid arthritis are also the causes of ankle pains. These types of arthritis are different from each other, but will cause significant amount of pain during rest and even during activities.
To achieve recovery from these conditions, the patient must undergo physical therapy of the ankle. The exercises that are usually given for these conditions generally starts with gentle range of motion exercises which is then progressed to resistance exercise and strengthening.