What are the ankle ligaments, what are their functions, and possible injuries? You’ll find it all explained in our mini search from A to Z along with some interesting things.
The ankle: It is a joint that connects the leg of the foot to the bottom of the foot with a group of ligaments, each of which has a specific function, to make the ankle and foot more stable and supportive.
If there is a defect in the ankle ligaments, such as tearing or stretching, pain results in the site of the injury. The most common cause is sudden and reflexive movement, that is, reversing the position of the foot, and this may be caused by an accident, a fall, or someone who practices specific sports such as tennis, football, or otherwise.
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What are the types and functions of the ankle ligaments?
Ankle ligaments: They are strong bundles of connective tissue and their main function is to connect the bones to each other. You may experience a defect due to a specific cause, which results in a defect in one or more of the ligaments. And this picture is in order to explain the following explanation:
These ligaments include two types:
1 – internal ligaments (medial side)
These ligaments consist of two ligaments, which are:
- The deltoid ligament, which is a thick and thick ligament that straightens the entire medial side of the ankle.
- Planter Calcaneonavicular ligament, which is part of the tic ligament.
2 – external ligaments (lateral side)
- The anterior talofibular ligament, which is a ligament that connects the shin (tibia) with the fibula bone. (It is one of the ligaments that are more prone to injury)
- Posterior talofibular ligament, which connects the posterior end of the tibia with the fibula bone.
- The calcaneofibular ligament, which is a ligament that connects the heel bone with the fibula.
- The Lateral Talocalcaneal Ligament is a ligament that connects along the outer side of the ankle and is a short, strong ligament.
- The Anterior Inferior Tibiofibular Ligament, which is a ligament that connects both the fibula and the tibia.
There are 2 posterior fibular ligaments that meet the posterior end of the fibula and the leg, and they are:
1 – The posterior inferior tibiofibular ligamen.
2 – The Transverse Ligament.
- In addition to these ligaments, there is the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament.
What are the possible injuries to the ankle ligaments?
The ankle ligaments may be exposed to some injuries that result in either a strain or a tear in the ankle ligaments. This pain is accompanied by moderate to severe, and doctors classified the degree of injury into 3 degrees, as follows:
1 – Light
It is the first degree. Often at this degree, there is no tear in the ligaments. Rather, there may be a stretching of the ligaments (abnormal stretching). You may feel stability in your ankle, but with stiffness and pain that is slightly or slightly less moderate.
2 – moderate
It is the second degree. This degree may be accompanied by one or more tears of the ligaments, but the tear is partial, meaning not a complete rupture, then you will not feel stability in your ankle, meaning you will find it difficult to move, and this degree will most likely result in a swelling at the site of the injury, in addition to a feeling of moderate pain.
3 – severe
It is the third and most dangerous degree, as this degree is accompanied by a tear in one or more ligaments, and the tear is complete, and you will find your ankle completely unstable, meaning a feeling of very severe pain and the inability to move it at all.
What is the difference between a torn ankle ligaments and a sprained ankle?
Most people do not have clear knowledge of the difference between a torn ankle ligament and a sprained ankle.
An ankle sprain is a condition that can cause a tear or strain in the ankle ligaments.
What are the causes of ankle ligament injury?
The most common cause of ankle ligament malfunction is performing specific exercises that may be stiff on the ligaments or may occur as a result of a sudden fall, which results in an ankle ligament malfunction.
There are health reasons that may help in the occurrence of dysfunction of the ligaments, such as weakness in the muscles or nerves as a result of malnutrition or a specific disease.
4 ways to diagnose ankle ligament defect?
You must bear in mind that a ligament tear is different from a muscle strain, so to diagnose your condition, first the doctor takes the first step:
1 – Distinguish between traction and tearing – Clinical examination
When the ankle is injured, the doctor examines the ankle by placing the fingers of the hand on the site of the injury and pushes down. If the pain often increases, ligaments may be torn, but if the patient feels comfortable while pulling the toes, it may be a muscle strain.
2 – X-rays
The doctor may order an X-ray to find out if there is a broken bone or not.
3 – Magnetic resonance imaging – MRI
The doctor uses magnetic resonance imaging to take some pictures of the hard and soft tissues, as well as the ligaments within the ankle.
4 – Ultrasound
The doctor may use ultrasound to take real-time pictures of the internal structures, and this helps the doctor to clearly reveal the degree of injury to the muscles, tendons, and ankle ligaments.
How is the treatment of defects in the ankle ligaments?
If there is a strain or a tear in the ankle ligaments, the following treatment methods are followed:
1 – First aid
First aid is the first step of treatment, as a cooling spray may be used at the site of the injury, to relieve pain, and then resort to taking adequate rest, and the legs must be raised to the highest level of the body, in order to reduce the blood flow that causes irritation to inflammation and swelling.
Cold compresses can also be used on the site of the injury, to reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling, if any. This process can be repeated every two or three hours, and compresses should be kept for 15 to 20 minutes each time.
A brace can also be used to try to prevent the ankle from moving, and in severe cases, a splint is used.
2 – Medicines – pills, ointments, or gel
The doctor may prescribe some painkillers, such as those with the generic name ibuprofen, such as ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, such as tepinol, to relieve pain.
One of the recommendations of the UK National Health Service is that you should not take ibuprofen within 48 hours of your injury, as it slows down the healing process.
The doctor may also prescribe an ointment or gel to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Here is a table of the most important medical preparations used for that:
|The name of the preparation||Its effectiveness||How to use|
|Reparial GL||Pain relief and inflammation relief||3 times daily|
|Hemoclar Cream||Pain relief and inflammation relief||2 to 3 times daily|
|Cream Bioderma – Bioderma Cicabio Arnica||Reduces bruising, relieves pain, and fights germs||3 times daily|
|Alpha Kadol Ointment||Pain relief and swelling relief||3 times daily|
|Algazon ointment – Algazon||Pain relief and inflammation relief||3 times daily|
3 – Exercises
Some exercises that help reduce pain should be done after discussing with the specialist.
Some sufferers may resort to physical exercises to revitalize the ankle as it was.
In some rare cases, the doctor may resort to surgical work on the torn ligaments only, if the injury is very severe and the ankle is still unstable despite all the medical procedures, but the ligament stretching does not require any surgical procedure.
The surgical procedure works to:
- Repair torn ligaments that won’t heal on their own.
- Repair of damaged ligaments using tissue from an adjacent tendon.
What are the potential complications of ankle ligaments?
Generally, most people with ankle ligament defect are completely cured from 10 days to two months, depending on the degree of injury, but some complications may occur that impede the healing process, the most important of which are:
1 – Chronic ankle defect
Long after the injury, an ankle defect may persist, especially when it is not treated properly and completely.
This imbalance results in the inability to perform some different activities, and the difficulty of wearing heels for women, and the symptoms of this imbalance include the following:
- Feeling of instability in the bone protrusion located inside the ankle, due to friction or contact of the ankle bones with the shin bones.
- Constant fear of sudden falls, which leads to imbalance in walking.
- Feeling of pain in the ankle while walking on congested surfaces.
- Pain and swelling at the site of the injury from time to time.
- Ease of exposure to a new sprain.
- The softness of the muscle tendons.
2 – chronic pain
If the ankle ligament defect is not diagnosed correctly, the treatment is also not appropriate, as there may be a broken bone, a tear in the tendons or cartilage, or nerve damage, and this is what causes the healing process to be delayed, and thus the feeling of chronic pain.
3 – Stiffness or stiffness of the ankle
Stiffness often occurs as a result of severe inflammation in the injury, and this is accompanied by pain, and this inflammation may cause swelling and swelling as well, and this may lead to osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.
What are the risk factors?
There are some common factors that help cause ankle ligament malfunction, and they are:
- Whoever plays sports, such as: jumping, football, tennis, etc.
- Running or walking on rough (uneven) surfaces.
- Previous ankle ligament injury.
- Ankle weakness, people who are not used to doing sports or somewhat strenuous work.
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes. Whoever wears inappropriate shoes for a specific work or activity may be more susceptible to injury, for example: high-heeled shoes.
UK National Health Service recommendations
In addition to the aforementioned treatments, there are some recommendations from the National Health Service that all people with defective ankle ligaments should follow them to speed up the healing process and strengthen the ligaments, here are the following:
- Avoid heat, such as a hot bath.
- Avoid alcohol and massage for 2 to 3 days.
- If you can move your ankle without being prevented by the pain, then try to keep moving it, in order to prevent stiffness in the muscle or joint.
- After recovery, you must avoid strenuous exercises for 8 weeks, as problems may increase or may malfunction again, the affected area is more susceptible to injury compared to the areas that were not exposed to any injury.
The conclusion of the speech
If you have not previously suffered any injury to the ankle ligaments, you must follow prevention methods, which include avoiding the causes and risk factors, but if you have previously been injured, you may be more vulnerable to injury, so it is necessary to follow some health measures.
In general, you should follow some of the following tips:
- Warm up well before beginning any strenuous activity.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in important elements for the body, such as vitamins, minerals, and more.
- Pay attention while walking and not jogging in areas with uneven surfaces.
- Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes.
If the symptoms persist for 6 weeks after following all the home remedies that can be done on your own, then you should see a specialist to provide the appropriate procedure for you.
Sprains and strains – UK National Health Service.
Description of the foot and ankle – the hip-knee site of Dr. Hisham Abdel Baqi, a specialist in orthopedic and joint surgery.
Ankle ligaments – energymedresearch.
Sprained ankle – webmd.
Sprained ankle – altibbi.
Sprained ankle – mayoclinic site.