The feet and ankles are truly amazing parts of the body, and they take quite a beating. Did you know that just walking puts up to 1 and ½ times your bodyweight on your foot, and that an average person’s foot logs approximately 1,000 miles each year.
It has been estimated that as shock absorbers, our feet cushion up to one million pounds of pressure during just one hour of strenuous exercise.
It’s not surprising then, that orthopedic injuries to the ankle are fairly common. In fact, millions of people will visit their provider this year with ankle sprains, fractures and injured tendons.
Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries, often caused when the ankle is turned inward during a fall or missed step. This can stretch or tear the ligaments, causing an ankle sprain. The lateral ligament, which is on the outside of your ankle, is most prone to injury. It can take from a few weeks to many months for a sprain to heal, depending upon the severity of the damage to the ligament.
Fractures are another common ankle injury. Any one of the three bones that make up the ankle joint can break as the result of a fall or some other trauma to the ankle.
The symptoms of a broken ankle can include:
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a sprain can be nearly identical to those of a fracture, and, of course, it’s not unusual to experience a sprain and a fracture simultaneously. Keep in mind that because a bad sprain can sometimes mask the symptoms of a broken ankle, it’s important that you check with your provider after any ankle injury. Your provider needs to evaluate your symptoms, in order to determine the severity of the injury.