Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for: April, 2017
Ankle sprains and ligaments of the ankle joint.
Ankle sprains are among the most common sporting injuries that occur during a variety of activities. Spraining refers to wrenching or twisting a ligament aggressively which can lead to swelling, pain and decreased range of motion. To thoroughly understand the mechanism of injury we must first understand the structures that provide stability and structural support to the ankle joint. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that connect two or more bones together between a joint space. Ligaments act as protective structures that create structural boundaries to the natural movement of joints. There are two major sets of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint; these are the medial collateral ligaments AKA deltoid ligament and the lateral collateral ligaments. The deltoid ligament complex are those found in the interior portion of the ankle or the medial side, they are composed of the following ligaments: Posterior and anterior tibiofibular ligaments, tibiocalcaneal and tibionavicular ligaments. The deltoid ligament collectively is considered the strongest ligament of the ankle joint providing the most solid structural integrity to the interior portion of the ankle joint. The lateral ligament is the most commonly sprained ligament of the ankle joint, specifically the anterior talofibular ligament. Torsional, or excessive rotational movements, ankle rolling outward damages the lateral ligaments causing swelling, redness and decreased movement; symptoms arise almost immediately.
How are ankle sprains diagnosed?
The patient may be able to walk with decreased range of motion, but will complain of excessive pain and tenderness especially when touched. Obtaining a good history of the injury as well as X-ray imaging of the ankle can provide evidence as to whether there is also a bony injury in conjunction with the sprain. Your doctor may perform a few tests to check for stability of the ankle joint. In more severe cases, an MRI may be needed to rule out other injuries.
How are ankle sprains treated?
The primary treatment is the RICE approach which stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. During the first 24-48 hours using ice packs intermittently can decrease the swelling in the area surrounding the sprain. An ACE wrap should be used to keep compression over the ankle joint to reduce the swelling, it is important to note that ace wraps do not provide rigid structural integrity the way a cast or walking boot does, and therefore weight bearing should still be limited. Elevation above the level of the heart for 3 hours a day will also help diminish swelling in the area. In some cases Crutches may be used until weight bearing does not produce pain. Physical therapy is vital to strengthening the surrounding muscles in the area.
Returning to sports or regular activities.
After proper rehabilitation, wearing an ankle brace during weight training or exercise can help preserve the structural integrity of the ankle. Typically, once an ankle is sprained it is subject to re-spraining, wearing shoes with lateral support can also help prevent injury. If for some reason pain persists after rehabilitation, a physician may order an MRI and perhaps surgical treatment.
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For an appointment call us at (817) 424-FOOT (3668).
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts, especially when you're suffering from painful neuromas or heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Generally, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or orthotics can effectively treat the pain. But when these conservative treatments aren't enough, chronic heel pain may require surgical treatment.
At our practice, we can treat irritating heel pain and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly with a new, fast-acting procedure known as Cryosurgery. For decades, this technique has been used for various areas of the body and is now proving to be very successful at helping treat and manage foot and ankle conditions.
Also known as Cryotherapy, Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed comfortably in our office in just one appointment to alleviate pain and nerve problems of the foot.
Using localized freezing temperatures to deaden the irritated nerve, the treatment involves inserting a probe into the tissue of the foot. The extreme freezing temperatures produce an anesthetic effect, reducing inflammation to the site and causing a mild "numbing" effect for as long as it is applied. The freezing inactivates the nerve and, as a result, painful nerve irritation is relieved.
Benefits of Cryosurgery include:
- Painless procedure
- Use of local anesthetic
- In-office performed procedure
- Minimal to no downtime from walking, work and other activities
- Decreased use of pain medications that can cause complications
- No stitches, hospitalization or sedation are required
Cryosurgery has proven to be an effective and popular alternative for treating many chronic and painful foot ailments that involve irritation of an isolated nerve of the foot. If you're looking to get rid of your heel pain, but haven't had much success with conservative treatments, visit our office and find out if you are a good candidate for Cryosurgery.