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What Are the Symptoms Of A Torn Ligament In The Ankle?

Dr. Daniel Silver - Silver Orthopedics April 20, 2018

Torn ligaments in the ankle are commonly called sprained ankles. These incredibly common injuries may range from inconvenient to excruciating, depending upon the extent of the tears. Minor ankle sprains are likely to heal on their own, through staying off the ankle, icing it, resting and using NSAIDs. However, severe tears may require surgery and casting.

Symptoms of Torn Ligaments in the Ankle

Most people can pinpoint the moment they sprained their ankle. This injury can result from simple missteps, such as misjudging a curb, or stepping in a hole in the sidewalk or street. Women wearing high heels are also often sufferers of sprained ankles. And of course, athletes playing or competing in virtually all sports commonly sprain their ankles.

Recurrent swelling, pain, and a feeling of the ankle giving out (particularly with side-to-side movement) are signs that you likely have significant tearing, and ankle ligament repair for instability may be required.

During surgery, expert Encino Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Silver will test the ankle ligaments manually. From there a small lateral incision is made, and the ligaments can be reattached to the bone through small drill holes. However, if the ligament is torn to the point of being basically shredded, then a replacement tendon will be created, using the peroneus brevis tendon.

Recovering From Torn Ligaments in the Ankle

If you have arthroscopic surgery to repair torn ligaments, you'll need to recover in a cast, and use crutches for approximately 4-6 weeks. By immobilizing the ankle in a boot or a cast, the ligaments have time to strengthen, and you'll prevent a re-injury while healing. Physical therapy will likely be prescribed to help strengthen the ankle and regain your range of motion following an ankle injury.

If you've sprained your ankle, it's important to confirm the severity of the injury through seeing an expert orthopedic surgeon. This can help prevent worsening or re-injury. In addition, you will learn whether you can treat the injury at home using simple methods such as NSAIDs, rest, and ice, or whether you'll need to have surgery to repair the ligaments.

If your ankle is causing you pain, and is swollen, and doesn't seem to be getting better, it is time to reach out to an expert. Dr. Silver, Founder of Silver Orthopedics in Encino has successfully performed thousands of arthroscopic and orthopedic surgeries. Contact us today at 818- 784-9593 to schedule an appointment.