Ankle sprains and strains are essentially overuse injuries that occur when tendons or ligaments are stressed beyond the maximum load or put through too many loading cycles. This overuse causes inflammation and damage to the tendons or ligaments. Sprains and strains in the ankle most commonly occur in active individuals who undergo a change in their workout protocol and may also occur as a result of a fall or accident. In most cases, patients feel like a muscle has been pulled or experience sharp pain in a specific area during physical activity. Diagnosis can be made with the help of digital radiography and high-definition musculoskeletal ultrasound.
Fractures, on the other hand, are a break in the hard, outermost shell of a bone. Fractures occur most frequently with accidents or falls, and are typically very painful and accompanied by bruising, swelling and throbbing pain. However, there are times when a fracture may be subtle and the patient may not immediately exhibit the classic symptoms of a fracture.
Conservative therapy always starts with resting, icing, and the application of a supportive and compressive dressing. Physical therapy is frequently utilized in the recovery process. More severe injuries may require immobilization with a walking boot, brace and/or crutches. Injuries that do not respond to conservative therapy may be re-evaluated with an MRI. Some patients require stem cell injections or surgery to repair damaged tendons or ligaments.
At Kipferl Foot & Ankle, our goal is to provide quick and accurate diagnosis so that we can start the recovery process immediately. We recognize that our patients want to return to full activity as soon as possible. By utilizing our on-site diagnostic tools, such as digital radiology and high definition musculoskeletal ultrasound, we can move them towards that goal.