Diagnosing Ankle Ruptures
Diagnosing Ankle Ruptures. A rupture of an ankle can be an excruciating injury. For those who may not know, an ankle is a complicated structure that is made up of many different bones, ligaments, and tendons that must work together in harmony to allow people to move their ankle, leg, and foot in a variety of different directions. According to a study that was published recently in the PubMed database:
- The vast majority of ankle injuries involve incomplete tears, at about 80 percent.
- About 5 percent of individuals suffered complete ruptures of an ankle.
- Another 5 percent of those studied sustained bone fractures along with their ankle injury.
- Some of these individuals required surgery to repair their ankle injury.
These statistics indicate just how big of a deal traumatic injuries of an ankle can be. When someone ruptures their ankle, this can lead to a large number of different problems that people need to deal with.
Diagnosing a Rupture of the Ankle
When someone comes in with concerns for a rupture of an ankle, there are a handful of different symptoms that they are going to show. These include:
- Pain: This is one of the most common signs and happens regardless of whether or not the ligaments have been ruptured. Tenderness in a specific location is more concerning for a tear.
- Swelling: Swelling occurs in response to an injury as the body rushes inflammatory cells to the site of a tear to start the healing process.
- Trouble Walking: Almost everyone who sustains a rupture of an ankle has difficulty walking. The ligaments play an essential role in keeping an ankle stabilized. Without these ligaments, there would be trouble balancing.
If there are concerns for a complete rupture of multiple ankle ligaments, a physician may order an MRI to get a more detailed look at what is going on. It can be difficult to see these ligaments on a CT scan so, even though an MRI takes longer, it is necessary. Fortunately, an MRI does not require any radiation. This will give a definitive diagnosis of a torn ankle ligament.
Treatment of a Ruptured Ankle
Some people may be surprised to hear that few ankle ruptures require actual surgery. Three different ligaments make up an ankle, and it is unusual for someone to tear all three. Typically, the treatment of a torn ankle ligament requires:
- Rest: An ankle needs a break from all weight bearing to give ligaments time to heal.
- Ice: Ice will help to reduce the swelling around an ankle. This will lead to pain relief as well.
- Compression: Compression is also used to reduce the swelling. Compression can help to immobilize an ankle, helping ligaments to heal themselves.
- Elevation: Elevation helps gravity pull fluid out of an injured ankle, helping to reduce the swelling.
While this is effective for the treatment of many torn ankle ligaments, surgery may be needed for others. Sometimes, people still experience significant pain and instability after using the therapy discussed above. This is often encountered with people who suffer a severe injury and tear all three ligaments. When this occurs, surgery is needed to reconstruct the ankle’s ligaments. This is a lengthy procedure and is used to attach new ankle ligaments where the old ones have been torn. Then, the ankle needs to be immobilized to allow the newly grafted ligaments to heal. Once this is done, most individuals require physical therapy to learn how to walk again.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A rupture of an ankle can be extremely painful. If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I would be happy to offer friendly, free advice.
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Diagnosing Ankle Ruptures: AutoAccident.com
Image Attribution: The photograph at the start of this page was found first on Unsplash. The image has been shown here with permission / Diagnosing Ankle Ruptures.
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