Top 5 Tips for Preventing Ankle Injuries

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013, 5:53 pm

While ankle injuries are commonly thought to affect athletes alone, sports-related injuries account for only half of all cases.  No matter what the cause, it’s important to understand that an ankle injury can be debilitating, making even simple activities like walking and running tough to accomplish.  Thankfully, however, there are a number of ways to help lower your risk!  Ready to find out more?

Here is our list of the Top 5 Tips for Preventing Ankle Injuries:

  1. Choose the right shoes. Whether you’re an athlete or not, choosing the right shoe can be your best defense against a painful ankle injury.  When shopping for a shoe, be aware of the contours of your feet and make sure you’re choosing for comfort and support, not just for looks.
  2. Warm up. If you’re going to exercise, run, or engage in any physical activity, be sure you are warming up and stretching.  This helps prepare your feet and ankles for the physical demands of exercise.
  3. Avoid uneven surfaces. Uneven surface conditions – such as rocky trails – can increase your chances of a fall, sprain, or fracture.  Make sure you are aware of your surroundings, and try to stick to flat, paved surfaces such as roads or running tracks.
  4. Eat right. In today’s world, an old adage still rings true: you are what you eat!  A balanced, healthy diet can keep your bones strong, making it harder for them to sustain injuries or joint damage.  Foods rich in calcium like cheese, milk, and kale work to build strong bones, and Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium.
  5. Listen to your body. If you’re experiencing any ankle discomfort, never try to “push through the pain.”  Instead, stop the activity and consult with an orthopedic specialist immediately.

Common Ankle Injuries

Now that you have a clearer sense of how you can protect your feet and ankles, let’s take a brief look at a few of today’s most common ankle-related injuries and how they can be effectively managed.

  • Acute ankle sprain. As one of the most widely-seen ankle injuries, a sprain occurs when one or more ligaments stretches or tears, causing pain, swelling, bruising and stiffness.  Depending on the severity of the strain, treatment can include rest, ice, compression, or anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Ankle fracture. A fracture refers to the break or a crack of any of the bones in the ankle – including the tibia, fibula, and talus.  A cast or brace is likely needed to help heal the bone, though ice and anti-inflammatory medication may prove helpful as well.  In certain severe cases, the surgical repositioning of the bone is required.
  • Peroneal tendon injuries. Commonly due to activities involving repetitive ankle motions, peroneal tendon injuries are typically characterized by pain, swelling and weakness of the foot and ankle.  While some patients respond well to non-surgical treatments, others may require surgery to repair or remove part of the injured tendon.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. When there is abnormal pressure on a nerve in the foot, it can cause Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – resulting in numbness, tingling, and pain.  Treatment typically begins with physical therapy, compression, and anti-inflammatory drugs.  Certain patients may require surgery, which can help to relieve pressure in the ankle.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Las Vegas

If you want to learn more about ankle injuries and their treatment, contact Dr. Watson today to schedule an appointment.  We have offices located in Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, and we can be reached at (702) 731-1616.  We hope to hear from you soon.

Category: Ankle Injuries, News

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