An ankle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in the ankle. An ankle strain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle muscle is stretched or torn. A strain is caused by twisting or pulling of the muscle or tendon and may be caused by playing sports, lifting heavy objects or an injury that causes the foot and ankle to twist inward.
Symptoms of an ankle strain may include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and bruising. The affected ankle is often difficult to move, making it difficult to walk and put pressure on the foot. An ankle strain may be diagnosed through a physical examination and X-rays may be performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture or dislocation. Most ankle strains can be treated through conservative methods such as:
- Resting the ankle
- Applying ice
- Using compression bandages
- Elevating the ankle
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
- Going to physical therapy
Ankle strains usually heal within 2 to 6 weeks, and most individuals can resume physical activity at this time. Surgery is not usually required to treat an ankle strain. Taping or bracing can help protect the ankle after injury and also helps prevent future injuries from occurring. It is important to take extra precautions after an ankle injury, as some patients may be susceptible to recurring injuries.
Diagnostic Arthroscopy Ankle
Ankle Arthroscopy FAQs
What Is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. The arthroscopy procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery and allows the doctor to view and repair joints without making a large incision. Only a small incision is need for an arthroscopy and small instruments are guided by a tiny camera that transmits images onto a computer screen. Accurate diagnosis and precise surgical treatment may be performed using the arthroscopy method.
What Is Ankle Arthroscopy Used For?
Ankle arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of ankle conditions and relieve the chronic pain frequently associated with them. Ankle arthroscopy is often successful in treating:
- Tissue bands
- Ligament tears
- Articular cartilage damage
- Bone spurs
While ankle surgery once required an invasive open procedure that left patients with long hospital stays and recovery times, many of those procedures can now be performed with the simpler, less invasive arthroscopy.
How Is The Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure Performed?
Ankle arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and uses tiny incisions to access the ankle joint. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. During the arthroscopy, a camera tube called an arthroscope is inserted into one of the incisions and small surgical instruments into the others. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visually examine the ankle joint and guide the instruments to the area for treatment. The arthroscopy procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform. During the procedure, some patients may experience pressure on the joints. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks after this procedure.
What Are The Benefits Of The Arthroscopy Procedure?
Arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open surgery because of its minimally invasive nature. This procedure has reduced the trauma associated with many ankle procedures, and offers patients the opportunity to get relief from their pain through a simple, outpatient procedure. Ankle arthroscopy offers patients:
- Shorter recovery times
- Less scarring
- Less bleeding
- Smaller incisions
After an arthroscopy, most patients experience less pain and discomfort than with traditional surgery.
What Are The Risks Associated With The Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure?
While ankle arthroscopy is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any surgery. Risks may include infection, nerve or tissue damage, or blood clots. These risks are considered rare, as most patients undergo this procedure with little to no complications.
Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle is twisted or turned, and results in torn ligaments within the joint. This injury often causes pain, swelling and bruising, and if it does not heal properly, it may lead to chronic ankle instability or repeated ankle sprains. Ankle ligament reconstruction is a procedure commonly performed on patients experiencing chronic ankle instability and repeated ankles sprains. It is effective in repairing torn ligaments, tightening loosened ligaments and improving the overall stability of the joint.
The Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Procedure
The ankle ligament reconstruction procedure is performed on an outpatient basis while the patient is sedated under general anesthesia. Different techniques may be used by the surgeon, depending on the condition of the ankle. During the procedure, torn ligaments may be repaired with stitches or sutures, two ligaments may be reattached, or part of a lateral tendon around the ankle may be used to repair the torn ligament. After the procedure is complete, a splint or cast is applied to the ankle. This procedure may take up to 2 hours to perform.
Risks Of Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
As with any surgery, there are possible complications associated with ankle ligament reconstruction which may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Nerve damage
After surgery, blood clots within the veins of the legs may also occur.
Recovery From Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
After surgery, patients will use crutches for up to two weeks. After this time, they may begin walking in a removable walking boot. Physical therapy is a crucial part of the healing process, and usually begins after about six weeks. Physical therapy treatments focus on improving range of motion without putting excessive strain on the healing tendons. Muscle-stengthening exercises and range of motion exercises may all be used to increase movement and mobility.
Most patients fully recover from ankle ligament reconstruction after three to four months, and at that time they can resume all regular activities including running and exercise.