Common Ankle Injuries
Previously we established the common sprains, strains, fractures & other types of injuries that can occur in the ankle.
Now we’re going to cover some of the basics of how you should normally manage these ankle injuries.
The body’s immediate reaction to injury is to create pain, inflammation & swelling at the damaged area. It’s crucial to listen to the body in this situation and stop using the affected ankle to prevent making things worse, and later on: allow healing to carry on uninterrupted.
In the first 1 to 3 days of injury (depending on how bad the injury is) the area may be highly swollen, hot & red (ie. inflamed) – during this time icing the area until it ‘calms down’ (eg. for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 to 3 hours) can be useful for speeding recovery. While inflammation is a helpful way to stop us moving (as described above) and begin the healing process – it can also be excessive and create other problems.
Keeping your feet above the level of your hip is an easy way to:
a) help the swelling fluid return back to the heart and not pool at the ankle,
b) make sure you’re staying off the foot/ankle.
CAM (Controlled Ankle Motion) Walker / Moon Boot
When you just ‘have to keep moving’, the best way to keep ‘resting’ the ankle, is to use a CAM walker / Moon boot. These work but taking away pressure from the ankle so that – with each step you take – it’s almost as if you were walking on air. While you don’t want to use these for too long (eg. muscles getting weaker over time) they can be very useful in the short term until healing has progressed.
Treatment & timing – ‘When to start heating & rehab?’
Ideally, within 3 to 6 days, your ankle may be ready to progress beyond this initial ‘Injury Management’ phase.
However: if it is not improving in a reasonable time-frame, OR the injury is extreme (such as a protruding bone) more intensive measures may be needed (eg. CAM/Moon Boot or surgery).
In further videos we’re going to explore how podiatry can help properly rehabilitate the ankle, heal any damaged areas, and return (or exceeed!) to its previous state.
Until next time, have fun and keep on walking!