The ankle joint is formed by the shin bones (tibia and fibula) and the talus bone. There is very little soft tissue around the joint, so the bones and joint can be felt just under the skin. The most common ankle injuries are sprains, Achilles tendon tears and cartilage injuries.
The ligaments surrounding the joint are the main structures that are responsible for the stability of the ankle. Although these ligaments are flexible to a certain extent, they can be damaged or torn under coercive forces.
Sprains are very common traumas. It can be seen not only during sportive struggle but also during normal daily activities. Pain, bruising and swelling, usually felt on the outside of the ankle, are observed. Walking becomes difficult due to pain.
Treatment consists of applying ice, rest, elevating the leg, elastic bandages or wristbands, and pain relievers.
Achilles Tendon Tears
The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. Although it weakens due to aging, some diseases or drugs, injuries mostly happen during sports activities at young ages.
Weekend ‘warriors’ playing astroturf football or basketball are at the highest risk. Tear occurs when jumping or sudden sprinting. Severe pain and inability on step are the most common complaints.
Treatment requires surgical repair of the tendon.
Cartilage injuries in the ankle joint often emerge after traumas such as sprains. It should be considered in people whose complaints persist despite treatment. Diagnosis can be made with MRI.
The treatment is decided by looking at the details such as the condition of the cartilage on the injured place, whether the part under the cartilage has lost its function, whether the part has been dislocated. The most proper method among arthroscopic(closed) cleaning, fixing the part in its place, multiple bone drilling, cartilage bone tissue transplantation or stem cell are preferred.