There are wide varieties of injuries that may negatively impact the ankle joint. These are highly prevalent and may occur to any person, at any age, and regardless of one’s level of physical activity. Each case may range from mild to so severe that significant damage occurs. In this guide, you will be introduced to the 15 most common types of injuries that have a direct impact on the ankle joint. The conclusion will point you to the most effective treatment for all ankle injuries.
1. Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon rupture is a type of injury that detrimentally impacts the back side of the lower leg region. This particular tendon is a very strong cord that connects the muscles in the back side of the leg calf to the bone of the heel. If overstretched, it could experience a partial or a complete tear. The pain that occurs with this injury impacts the lower leg and the back side of the ankle.
2. Anterior Ankle Impingement
Anterior ankle impingement occurs when pain and the pinching of the bone, the soft tissue of the front side of the ankle, or any presence scar tissue occurs. This may occur as a result of an old injury or a new injury. The impacting tissue (be it soft tissue or scar tissue) catches between the bones that are located in the lower leg and those that are in the upper region of the foot. Additionally, this impingement may occur at the front of the bones as a result of a bony spur.
3. Calf Muscle Tear
A calf muscle tear occurs in the area where the muscles directly behind the shin is located. This injury typically occurs when the muscle is overstretched. It may also occur if the muscles in the calf area of the legs are overworked. Pain will occur in the calf and may also occur in and around the ankle and the foot.
4. Heel Spur
Heel spurs are typically painless, but could result in pain in and around the heel and ankle region. These develop as a result of the accumulation of calcium deposits on the bottom side of the heel bone. They may be caused by strains affecting the ligaments and muscles of the foot, the plantar fascia becoming stretched, and the continuous tearing of the membrane that is located over the heel bone.
5. High Ankle Sprain
A high ankle sprain is often referred to by professionals as a “syndesmotic injury”. This occurs when there is tearing and/or other types of damage of the ligaments that are located in the high ankle region. These ligaments connect the tibia directly to the fibula. The anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament, the posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament, and the interosseous membrane may all be involved in a high ankle sprain; however, it is typically one or the other of these. In severe cases, all three may be detrimentally impacted.
6. Muscle Strain
An ankle muscle strain stems from the result of overstretching or tearing the muscles or tendons in or around the ankle. It causes pain, tenderness, and possibly even weakness to the ankle and foot. It will result in swelling and bruising. It may result in the inability to put weight on the ankle and/or foot and the inability to properly use the ankle and/or foot.
7. Overuse Injuries
Ankle overuse injuries are those that occur – mostly – due to walking or running. These injuries start in a gradual manner and do not result in high levels of discomfort in the beginning. An overuse injury will worsen or will persist as time progresses. The longer an overuse injury is allowed to go on, the longer the recovery from the injury will take.
8. Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve in the ankle is a condition that is professionally referred to as “tarsal tunnel syndrome”. This happens when the posterior tibial nerve experiences compression with the tarsal tunnel located within the ankle. This is a special type of channel in the ankle that contains a large assortment of veins, nerves, tendons, and arteries. Each of these are protected by a very thick ligament. If a nerve becomes pinched severe pain and even numbness may be experienced.
9. Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a very strong band of tissue that aids in the overall support of the foot. If it becomes irritated and starts to experience inflammation, it results in immense pain and discomfort – of the foot and of the ankle. This tissue connects the front of the foot to the heal. If this experiences too much pressure, it could tear or experience other types of damage.
10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is possible for those who suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis to experience inflammation of the ankle joint. This could result in intense swelling, general levels of pain, and stiffness. It has the potential to restrict the overall mobility of the joint. In turn, the ability to walk and stand becomes impaired.
11. Severs Disease
Severs disease is a condition that mostly impacts children and teenagers. It happens when the bone of the heel grows much faster than the supporting tendons. As time progresses, the tendon that is located within the ankle may start to tear away from the heel and cause immense pain and discomfort.
12. Shin Splints
Shin splints cause pain and tenderness near the large bone that is located within the lower leg. They are most often a direct result of exercise, playing sports, and/or engaging in repetitive activities. The pain is most often experienced on the outside of the shins and in the inside legion of the lower leg – immediately above the ankle.
13. Sprained Ankle
This issue occurs when the ankle twists, rolls, or turns quickly in a manner that is awkward. In short, the strong ligaments that support the entire ankle region abnormally stretch. When pushed beyond their limits, they tear. A sprained ankle may be mild or it may be severe. It results in pain, intense swelling, and a range of motion that is severely limited.
14. Stress Fracture
A stress fracture occurs within the ankle when one of the bones become severely bruised or cracked. In most instances, this is caused by overuse and activities that are repetitive in nature. Pain starts out slowly and then gets progressively worse – especially if doing weight-bearing activities. The area will become very tender. This may occur if a person experiences an underlying issue that involves the weakening of the bones – such as osteoporosis.
Ankle tendinitis is the inflammation of one of the tendons located within the ankle or even in the foot. It has been found that the ankle is one of the most common places to experience this issue due to the repetitive motions that occur in the joint of the ankle. There are 5 types that may impact the ankle:
- Peroneal Tendonitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Anterior Tibial Tendonitis
- Extensor Tendonitis
What is the Most Effective Treatment for Ankle Problems?
While it is true that anti-inflammatories, splints, surgeries, and other treatments may assist in overcoming ankle problems, most of these carry a high risk. It may be dependency on medications, more severe injuries, or similar risks. If you are in search of a risk-free – yet highly effective – treatment, you should have physical therapy. This is a natural approach that will help you overcome ankle problems quickly and safely.