Old Ankle Injuries Can Come Back to Haunt You

A medical technician prepares to take an X-ray of a young woman's foot. The technician is positioning the X-ray machine over the woman's foot while she sits on the couch underneath.

Getting back in shape or playing your favorite sport is always a great way to stay active and healthy. You’re doing what you love, feeling good and having a great time, right? So nothing is more disappointing than being sidelined by an injury before really getting into your groove.

For many people, old injuries, especially in the foot and ankle, can come back at the most inopportune times. If you’ve suffered from foot and ankle injuries, like a sprained ankle, and it didn’t heal properly years ago, you could pay for it now.

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, it’s estimated that “one in four sports injuries involves the foot or ankle, and the majority of them occur from incomplete rehabilitation of earlier injuries.”

Rehabilitation of an ankle injury is the most important aspect of treatment to prevent recurring injuries in the future. Even so, your ankle may be permanently weakened due to a severe strain or sprain. This is because the ankle receptors responsible for balance and proprioceptions (spacial awareness) are compromised. Rehabilitation strengthens the compromised tissues to retrain the proprioceptive mechanism, creating a more stable, healthy joint.

If you sprained your ankle years ago and didn’t seek treatment, it could have caused chronic instability or residual weakness that isn’t normally detected while engaging in your daily life. However, if you begin participating in sports or working out (or any form of activity that goes above and beyond your normal routine), you can further damage the ligaments that healed improperly, causing pain and swelling. If you’ve had an ankle injury, especially if you never had it evaluated by a podiatrist, you should have your ankles checked for instability before you engage in rigorous physical activity. A treatment plan to help stabilize the joint may be prescribed. This will help prevent you from further injuring your ankles and keep you from what you love to do.

To schedule an appointment to have your ankles evaluated by one of the highly skilled podiatrists at the Triad Foot Center, click here to request an appointment!

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