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Understanding the Ankle

The ankle is a hinge joint where the bones of the leg (the tibia and the fibula) meet the ankle bone (the talus). The ankle joint enables the foot to move up and down. The subtalar joint, where the ankle bone meets the heel bone (the calcaneus), allows the foot to move side to side. Ligaments, muscles, and tendons surround the ankle joint and give it the necessary stability to bear weight and stress when you walk, run, and jump. 

Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains and broken ankles are the most common ankle injuries. A sprain occurs when the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint stretch too far and tear. A break occurs when one or more of the bones in the ankle fractures. Both ankle sprains and broken ankles can be caused by missteps, overuse, falls, and high impact activity. Various forms of arthritis, including gout, can also affect the ankle joint. 

Ankle Injury Symptoms

Ankle injury symptoms will vary depending on the severity of your injury. You may experience swelling, bruising, intense pain, and difficulty putting weight on your foot.

ankle with ice pack

Minor ankle injuries will benefit from the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). An X-ray may be required to determine if you’ve fractured any of the bones in your ankle. In the event of a severe ankle injury, immobilization, casting, or surgery may be necessary. Your course of treatment will depend on the nature of your injury or condition, and our team may refer you to Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s podiatry practice