Appropriate treatment is key.
At some point in their career, almost every athlete rolls an ankle, but even the most common sports injuries require special care and attention. That’s why, at Henry Ford, our team of board-certified sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons routinely provide reliable, individualized treatment for all forms of ankle injuries ranging from simple sprains to complex fractures. So no matter how unique your injury is, we’re here to treat it with the most effective and innovative options available.
Common ankle injuries
When to see a doctor
Minor ankle injuries can often be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation, but if ankle pain has persisted for more than a few days, or if it’s preventing you from walking, running or participating in your sport, consult a doctor.
See a doctor immediately if your ankle pain was caused by a particularly forceful impact or if it's accompanied by:
- Limited flexibility in the ankle
- Inability to stand or walk
- An audible “pop” at the time of the injury
How we treat ankle injuries
Ankle treatment at Henry Ford typically begins with a physical exam with one of our primary care sports medicine physicians. After a diagnosis has been made, sometimes with the help of an X-Ray, MRI or CT scan, we’ll develop a treatment plan tailored to you and your injury. If surgery or other steps are necessary, our staff will refer you to the proper team member, whether it’s an orthopedic surgeon, podiatrist, athletic trainer or physical therapist.
R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) — When an ankle injury first occurs, patients should rest the affected area to prevent further injury from occurring; ice it to reduce pain and compress it to reduce swelling.
Physical Therapy — Many ankle injuries can be treated with physical therapy, either on its own or in conjunction with surgery. For recovering patients, Henry Ford’s dedicated rehabilitation team takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining exercise and strength training with manual therapy at more than 20 outpatient facilities across southeast and south central Michigan. Special therapy, such as aquatic therapy, may also be used.
Anti-inflammatory medication — Over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve can often help reduce ankle pain from minor sprains and aid in initial recovery.
Ankle Arthroscopy — This minimally invasive procedure allows surgeons to use a small camera to treat and diagnose a variety of ankle injuries including ankle fractures, arthritis, instability and other issues.
Ligament Reconstruction — Often used when an ankle ligament has been torn completely, ligament reconstruction surgery can also be a particularly effective treatment for those who suffer from chronic ankle sprains.
Tendon Repair — Occasionally, surgery may be required to repair a torn tendon. Some tendon tears can be healed with physical therapy or immobilization, while others may require surgery to sew the torn ends of the tendon together and improve mobility.