What is Ankle Ligament Damage?
Ankle ligament damage is an injury to one or all of the ligaments in the ankle. It damages the ankle’s deltoid ligament, known as a medial ankle sprain or an eversion sprain. The most common cause of a deltoid injury is traumatic or sudden damage to the ligament.
Symptoms of Ankle Ligament Damage
Inversion Ankle Symptoms
- The patient will experience a popping sound when the injury occurs.
- The ankle will become unstable; it will twist inwards upon movement.
Eversion Ankle Symptoms
- The patient may experience a sensation that their ankle is rolling outwards.
Symptoms Common in Both Injuries
- The patient may experience immediate and acute pain.
- The patient may experience pain and swelling of the ankle, followed by bruising.
- The patient may face difficulty in movement.
How to Fix a Torn Ligament?
It is easily treatable through conservative and surgical treatment options. Ligament damage is classified into three grades.
Classification of Ligament Injury
- Grade 1
In Grade 1 injury, the ligaments of the ankle have been stretched but not torn. The patient will experience some pain and swelling that is easily treatable.
- Grade 2
A Grade 2 injury is characterized by ligament and tendon damage in the ankle. The ligaments of the ankle will be partially torn. The patient will experience prolonged pain, inability to put weight on the injured foot, and bruising of the ankle.
Grade 2 injuries are commonly treated with non-surgical treatments. The duration of the procedure may be longer, but the treatments prove useful. However, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.
- Grade 3
In Grade 3 injuries, the ligaments of the ankle are entirely torn. The patient will hear a popping sound accompanied by excruciating pain. The patient may also experience swelling and bruising, along with an inability to support their weight.
Grade 3 injuries are treated surgically.
Treatment of a Torn Ligament in the Ankle
Your specialist may prescribe pain medication, normally opioids, to manage the pain. They may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for grade 2 injuries. Physical therapy exercises also help in strengthening and healing the damaged ligament. These exercises may include:
- Strengthening exercises.
- Proprioception exercises.
If these treatments are ineffective, the doctors will prescribe steroid medication, usually in injections.
Surgical Treatment for Ligament Damage
Surgery is the most suitable treatment for Grade 3 type. If it’s the deltoid ligament, then a fracture will accompany ligament injury in the fibula or talus bone.
Thus, the surgery for ligament repair may or may not be associated with fracture repair surgery.
The most common surgical procedure for a ligament injury of the ankle is:
- Anatomic Deltoid Ligament Repair.
- Arthroscopic Lateral Ligament Repair.
- Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction.
How to Strengthen Ankle After Ligament Damage?
After surgery, your surgeon will recommend a rehabilitation program to strengthen the ankle ligaments. The rehabilitation program includes preventative steps such as wearing ankle supports to avert future damage.
Secondly, it includes physical therapy exercises focused on increasing the strength of the ligaments and muscles. A patient can easily do these exercises at home. These may include:
- Strengthening exercises.
- Proprioception (balance) training.
- Endurance and agility exercises.
Call us today to schedule a reliable and cost-effective ankle treatment with one of our expert orthopedic surgeons.
How Long Does It Take for a Torn Ligament in the Ankle to Heal?
- There is no specific time frame for it to heal.
- The time frame required for full recovery depends on your muscle strength, the range of motion, and proprioception.
Can You Walk With a Torn Ligament in Your Ankle?
- You cannot walk without pain if you are suffering from a torn ligament in your ankle.
- It often causes swelling in the injured foot and is very painful.
How Does a Torn Ligament Feel?
- You may feel pain, swelling, and bruising in the affected area.
- The joint may not be able to carry weight.
- The intensity of these symptoms will depend on the ligament, whether it is overextended or torn.
Do You Need Surgery for a Torn Ligament?
- Your specialist may recommend surgery if other medical treatments are not sufficient.
- Surgery is the last option to fix a torn ligament.