Ankle Conditions and Treatments
Types of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are very common ankle injuries, caused by the ankle turning in.
First Degree. This is the most common ankle injury, one in which a ligament(s) is stretched but not torn. An injury like this results in little swelling and no instability. With this injury a person can expect to return to activity within a couple weeks.
Second Degree. Here ankle ligaments are partially torn, causing the ankle to swell immediately. This type of ankle ligament injury may require 3-6 weeks rest before returning to activity
Third Degree. Is a more serious ankle ligament tear, but rarely requires surgery, but may require 8-12 months for the ligament to heal.
Ankle Sprain Causes:
- Previous Injury
- Worn-out shoes
- Uneven Surface
- Family History
- Inappropriate/worn-out shoes
- Weak/Imbalanced muscles
Ankle Sprain Treatment
Stage 1 – up to 72 hours
Reduce ankle pain and swelling by applying ice and compression 60 minutes every 2 hours while elevating the affected leg. Apply tape or splint to immobilize ankle depending on severity of injury.
Stage 2 – first week
Begin walking as tolerated, using pain as a guide to determine how much activity is enough. Since the ankle will get stiff it is important to maintain full range of motion of your ankle; begin the stretching and range of motion exercises below.
Stage 3 – two weeks or longer
The crucial part of the treatment is a rehabilitation program to regain ankle flexibility and to strengthen supporting muscles; because the ankle must be strong before your return to activity. The other side of this pamphlet contains instructions and exercises to prepare you and test your readiness to return to activity.
Calf Stretch (Towel)
While in a seated position, hook a towel under your foot and pull your ankle back until a stretch is felt on your calf area. Repeat 3 times for 30 seconds
Calf Stretch (Towel Outward)
While seated, use a towel and slide it with your foot across the floor in an outward direction. Be sure to keep your heel in contact with the floor the entire time. Reps 10 Sets 3
Calf Stretch (Towel Inward)
While seated, use a towel and slide it with your foot across the floor in an inward direction. Be sure to keep your heel in contact with the floor the entire time. Reps 10 Sets 3
While in a seated position, write out the alphabet in the air with your big toe. Complete the alphabet twice through using upper case letters.
Seated Calf Raise
Start with your entire foot on the ground. Lift heel completely off ground Reps 10 Sets 3
Single Leg Stance
Stand on one leg and maintain your balance. Hold 30 sec Repeat 3 Times
Standing Calf Raise
While standing, raise up on your toes as you lift your heels off the ground. Use a chair, counter top, etc. for support as needed. Reps 10 Sets 3
Ankle Eversion Tubing
Using an elastic band attached to your foot, hook it under your opposite foot and up to your hand. Move your foot in a slow outward motion. Reps 10 Sets 3
Ankle Planterflexion Tubing
While seated, use an elastic band attached to your foot and press your foot downward. Reps 10 Sets 3
Ankle Inversion Tubing
While seated, cross your legs and using an elastic band attached to your foot, hook it under your opposite foot and up to your hand. Move your foot in a slow inward motion. Reps 10 Sets 3
One of the fastest-growing areas of orthopaedic treatment is orthobiologics. For certain, minor injuries, orthobiologics have proven to be a safe, effective solution that accelerate the body’s natural healing process. Let’s take a closer look.
Orthobiologics refers to the application of biologic treatment for musculoskeletal injuries. The orthobiologic substances are derived from the body’s own cells, proteins and growth factors. When injected into the site of an injury, orthobiologics have a good chance of reducing inflammation and creating an environment more conducive to healing.
When Are Orthobiologics Used?
Dr. Melander typically recommends orthobiologic treatment for tendon, ligament and cartilage injuries. It is considered a hybrid between conservative and surgical treatment. Dr. Melander may recommend it as an intermediate step before surgery, or as a temporary relief for chronic conditions, such as arthritis. In some cases, orthobiologics may delay major treatments, such as a joint replacement.
Where Do Orthobiologics Come From?
Orthobiologics are usually created from two sources: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and pluripotent stem cells, and occasionally stromal fat cells. PRP cells are drawn from your own blood and contain the critical growth factors necessary to enhance healing. Stem cells, on the other hand, are usually harvested from the bone marrow or pelvis or from a donor. In theory, these cells assist with the rebuilding of the damaged tissue.
Outlook on Orthobiologics
Although orthobiologics have provided relief for several patients experiencing joint pain, science has yet to completely validate them as a reliable treatment option, however, there is growing evidence that orthobiologics can work exactly as intended. That said, the treatment is quite promising and may be right for some patients experiencing specific types of pain. Dr. Melander will be able to evaluate your injury and recommend the best course of action.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing joint pain and are interested in orthobiologic treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Melander and the sports medicine team. If he determines you are a good candidate for orthobiologics, he will develop a treatment plan that restores you to full health as quickly as possible.