Sprained Ankle Treatments in Singapore (How to Recover Fast)

Sprained ankles are one of the most common sports-related injuries obtained by people. Although a sprained ankle may not be a major injury, it could be quite a hindrance to daily activities and of course, sports or other physical activities would not be possible without further injuring the ankle.

Depending on the severity of the sprain, there are plenty of sprained ankle treatments in Singapore that can provide recovery from 6 weeks to up to 4 months. However, with adequate rest, proper treatment and rehabilitation, the healing process could be sped up significantly.

Sprained ankles typically occur when the ankle is turned at an unnatural angle and the ligaments connecting the bone and ankle tears.

Symptoms

Typically, an ankle sprain can be identified by the pain, swelling, stiffness and instability. A minor sprain involves a stretched ligament with slight tearing. The pain would not be too intense and it would still be possible to walk with a limp.

If the ligament is completely torn, the ankle joint would lose its function and stability. Intense pain would be felt initially but it would wear off after a while till no pain is felt and swelling would be extensive.

You can identify a sprained ankle by bruising around the affected area, a swollen or painful lump near the ankle, and a general instability of the area.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of the sprain, a doctor may recommend several treatment programmes to suit your needs. Most of the time, sprains will go away with adequate rest without further pressure on the feet, but extreme cases may call for surgical solutions like arthroscopy.

R.I.C.E:

As with many other kinds of leg and joint injuries, the R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method is the first form of treatment to contain the injury and reduce pain and swelling.

  • Rest: Avoid weight bearing as much as possible to allow the ankle to heal and prevent further aggravation of the injury.
  • Ice: Using an ice pack or ice wrap, apply it on the injured area for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This would reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Compression: After icing, use bandage to wrap around the injured area snugly. Make sure that it is not too tight that it cuts off blood circulation.
  • Elevation: Raise your leg above the heart level to further reduce the swelling.

These four steps should be repeated at least three times a day or until the pain and swelling subside.

During this time, you should also restrict movement and involvement in physical activities. If you have difficulty walking, consider a crutch or an ankle brace to assist you in your daily routine.

Medication:

Generally, no medication is required for a sprained ankle, but painkillers are sometime given out if necessary.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can help to reduce the inflammation and reduce pain and swelling.

Other than that, over-the-counter painkillers are also prescribed to handle the pain. These can include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

Rehabilitation

Keeping your ankle immobilized for too long can result in stiffness. Always wriggle your toes or move your ankle lightly whenever possible to keep it flexible. Once the injury has stabilized and is recovering, you can start rehabilitation exercises to restore its motion, strength and balance.

Light Exercises:

You can start off with sitting on a chair and moving your ankle up and down, followed by rolling your foot inward and outward. If these movements are bearable, proceed to stand with legs at hip width apart and lift up one foot at ankle level. Change to the other foot and repeat the reps.

Toe Raises:

Slowly lift your feet off the ground on a tiptoe and hold the position before lowering it back down. Use a support if necessary.

Calf Stretch:

With a wall for support, lean forward with one leg bent and reach out for the wall with both hands at head level. The other leg should be kept straight and feeling the stretch along the calf. Do the same with the other leg.

Prevention

If you often suffer from sprains, you can lower the chances of such occurrences by wearing proper shoes or going through physiotherapy and stretching exercises to improve your balance and footwork.

Other preventive measures can include ankle braces or sports tape which can hold and reinforce your ankle to prevent it from landing at susceptible angles.

One of the most common causes of ankle sprains is weak ankle muscles. You can train your ankles to be stronger with a simple exercise. Wrap a towel around your foot to create some resistance and roll it inward as a simple movement. Do not attempt to do this if your ankle already hurts!

Chronic Ankle Instability: Cause, Symptom & Treatment

Chronic ankle instability is developed after multiple sprains or a single severe sprain that was not properly healed. The ankle easily gives way to the lateral side, especially during sports activities or walking on uneven surfaces. This condition is common among athletes and people with high physical demands as they may have resumed their activities before the previous injury is fully recovered. Because of the ankle instability, people who are affected may find themselves incurring more sprains and developing other conditions such as arthritis and tendon tear over time.

Causes

When an ankle is sprained, the ligaments are stretched or torn and balance is affected. If the ankle muscles are not strengthened to regain the ability to balance, it would be prone to repeated sprains. With multiple sprains, the ligaments are weakened and more difficult to heal, leading to chronic ankle instability.

Symptoms

Patients of chronic ankle instability experience a constant ache and swelling in the ankle, with pain and tenderness when engaged in physical activities. The ankle would be unstable and often rolls over to the lateral side. Usually, patients would complain about these persistent symptoms after the ankle has been sprained several times.

Diagnosis

The doctor would first take a history of your condition to find out if you had any previous ankle injuries and how long the symptoms have persisted. A physical examination is then carried out to check for swelling, tenderness and instability. X-rays or other tests, such as bone scan or MRI, may be ordered.

Treatment

Based on the degree of instability, the recommended treatment may be surgical or non-surgical. For severe cases and if the condition does not improve or recur after non-surgical treatment, surgery would be required.

Non-Surgical Treatment:

Physical therapy incorporates different exercises to help strengthen the ankle muscles. This would retrain the tissue to regain balance and range of motion. For athletes, the rehabilitation may include exercises that specifically help them get back to their sport.

To help support the ankle, a brace is worn to keep it in position and prevent further injury. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed to reduce the pain and inflammation.

Surgical Treatment:

The goal of the surgery is to reduce the symptoms of the condition to prevent more serious injuries. As such, the surgeon would excise loose fragments and debride the ankle joint of any scar tissue or fibrous bands. The ligaments are then repaired or reconstructed. Tendons may also be transferred to align the ankle for better motion.

Peroneal Tendinosis: Symptoms & Treatment

The peroneal tendons are located just behind the fibula, the calf bone. Peroneal tendinosis is the swelling of the tendon usually caused by prolonged strain from a repetitive physical activity over a period of time.

Symptoms

Peroneal tendinosis causes pain and swelling on the back of the ankle. Patient experiences sharp pain when the foot is inverted or turned inwards and the calf muscle feels tight.

Causes

Because this injury is caused by the overuse of the tendon, those that engage in activities that involve an excessive eversion of the foot are more likely to suffer from this condition. Examples of such patients are athletes, marathoners and ballet dancers.

Improper training, overtraining and poor footwear are some reasons that peroneal tendinosis is developed. In these cases, the tendon has to work harder to compensate for the incorrect posture of the foot or the overexertion. The tendon is stretched and rubbed repetitively against the bone and over time, it swells and becomes painful.

Treatment

The best way to recover from peroneal tendinosis is to rest the injury and let it heal by itself. Usually, surgery is not required unless the tendon is ruptured or the pain persists after conservative treatments. Depending on the severity of the injury, these are the treatment options used.

  • RICE:

The injury is managed with several sets of rest, ice, compression and elevation.

  • Anti-Inflammation Drugs:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammation drugs (NSAID) are prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Deep Tissue Sports Massage:

Massaging to relax the tight peroneal muscles helps to reduce tension and thus the friction between the tendon and the bones.

  • Cast Immobilization:

The foot is immobilized in a cast for 2-6 weeks to stabilize the injury and prevent weight bearing so that it can heal.

  • Surgery:

If the tendon is torn, surgery is considered to repair the tendon. The groove in the back of the fibula may be made deeper to allow more space for the tendons. Only in very severe cases, the injured tendon has to be resected to connect with the other tendon behind the fibula.

 

Complications

Ignoring the condition over a long period of time may result in the tendon tearing. The weakened tendon also makes the ankle susceptible to sprains and leading to damage of the cartilage. If surgery is required, there is a risk for infection. And in the worse case scenario, patient may suffer from nerve damage if the sural nerve that brings sensation to the foot is cut or stretched.

Recovery

It is advisable not to bear weight on the injured ankle for 6 weeks. Full recovery is possible but may take a long time. Physical activity may be resumed if the injury is well taken care of, with enough time to fully recover. Otherwise, a change of physical activities might have to be considered.

5 Ways to Reduce and Relieve Ankle Pain

Our ankle joint is a complex structure involving bones, tendons and ligaments that helps to provide a wide range of motion including inversion, eversion, extension and flexion. These motions are responsible in providing stability and locomotion for the body. Our ankle bears the full weight of our body and any forces that are acting on it are of significance. Daily actions such as walking, running and jumping will have a huge impact.  As a result, ankle pain is a common complaint experienced by many. What are some ways to reduce and relieve ankle pain?

Stop wearing flats

Flats are simple and comfortable shoes for all ladies out there. However, flats provide virtually no form of support for the ankle. People with ankle pain complaints suffer from pronation which is the inward rolling of the foot towards the arch. A pair of flats does not have anything to prevent pronation and does not help at all. In fact, it can worsen the situation.

Gel inserts

Although flats are comfortable, they provide no form of support for the foot. Instead, you should consider using gel inserts if you really need to wear your flats. Gel inserts provide a firm yet responsive cushioning for your foot and helps to prevent pronation. It also helps to absorb shocks and relieves stresses acting on the soft tissues.

Walking on flat surfaces

Flat surfaces are the best for our ankles. They allow proper heel striking by our foot and provide a firm surface to land on. However, we do not have the luxury of flat surfaces wherever we go. There are always uneven and bumpy surfaces which must be avoided when possible. These uneven surfaces increase the risk of injuries.

Using ice packs

During an ankle injury, blood from surrounding areas gushes towards the injured part. Using an ice pack can help to constrict these blood vessels and reduce swelling to a great extent. Always remember to place a piece of cloth over your skin before putting on the ice pack to prevent frost bite.

Massage

Massages help to increase blood flow and circulation and are beneficial for patients with injured ankles. Due to the increased circulation of healthy and clean blood, growth repair cells are rapidly being transported to the injured region, aiding recovery.

Ankle pain is a common complaint and it can cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience. By following the 5 ways mentioned above, you can be sure of reducing and relieving ankle pain.

Home treatments – Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common orthopaedic injuries involving the ankle and minor ankle sprains will heal on their own. Ankle sprains happen due to the ligaments in the ankle tearing because of sudden shifts into positions that are unusual. Minor ankle sprains take between 2 to 4 weeks to heal and more serious ones will take up to 6 months. Home treatment is often sufficient to relieve pain and speed up the healing process.

RICE

Following an ankle sprain, RICE should be done immediately. RICE is simply Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Do not add any more stress to your injured ankles. You do not want to aggravate the inflamed tissues and cause further damages. Wear an ankle brace to help immobilise the ankle to prevent any further stresses while moving about. Start to ice the injured ankle for 20 minutes at a time as any duration longer than 20 minutes can cause the surrounding muscles and tissues to suffer from shock. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and reduce pain and swelling. Compress the ankle to prevent accumulation of fluid in the ankle region. Be careful not to compress too tightly until the skin starts to turn purple. Lastly, elevate the ankle to a position higher than the heart. Using gravity, the fluid will not retain at the ankle site and instead, it will flow away from it.

Walking

The first treatment that follows almost immediately after an ankle sprain is walking. It is important to begin the treatment as soon as possible to prevent long term joint problems. If walking is bearable, you should start to walk around with the aid of crutches. Always remember to wear protective footwear to prevent aggravation of your ankle injury. Walking in a correct manner helps to stretch the ankle ligaments and promote healing.

Range of motion

It is important to perform range of motion exercises following any injury at the joint areas to prevent tissue scarring and further complications. Always do the exercises slowly and do not rush them through. Sit down in an upright position and rotate your ankles in a clockwise position followed by anti-clockwise. Do this several times during the day to prevent the tissues from hardening.

Strengthening

After an ankle injury, the muscles surrounding the ankle is no longer as strong as before and you need to perform strengthening exercises to firm and strengthen them to ensure proper support in future. A strong ankle is also able to reduce the chances of future ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains are rather common ankle injuries suffered by many people due to a sudden twisting action commonly during walking on uneven surfaces. For minor ankle sprains, home treatment will often suffice with simple activities that you can perform at home without the need for medication. Remember to rest well and do not rush through the recovery process.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is a very common problem experienced by many and is caused by different reasons. Patients will often suffer pain under the heel or behind the heel. Most of the time, heel pain will disappear on its own with time but in serious cases, they can become chronic problems. There are 26 bones in the human foot and the largest bone is the heel bone. The function of the heel is to provide support and balance the weight of the body. With such immense weight acting on it and various activities such as running and jumping, the heel is at a high risk of injury.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful result of the inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia links the heel bones to the toes and is responsible for the arch of the boot. Plantar fasciitis can cause immense pain which increases with every additional step you take but once you warm up the leg, the pain will start to go away, coming back again after periods of immobility.

Stress Fracture

As mentioned above, the heel bone is the largest bone in the human foot and stress fractures can occur due to overuse of the heel. Continuous activity on a hard surface can also contribute to stress fractures due to the higher force environment. When the heel bone fractures under stress, it will cause immense pain at the heel region and recovery time is often lengthy.

Heel bursitis

Heel bursitis results from inflammation of the bursa which is located at the back of the heel. It is most commonly occurred when the patient lands on the heels incorrectly, injuring the tendons and bursa. Improper footwear may also contribute to heel bursitis. The pain will normally get worse as the day passes.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The Tarsal tunnel is located between the bones in the foot and the fibrous tissues in spaces. There is a nerve located at the tarsal tunnel called the posterior tibial nerve and it is protected by bones and tendons. Sudden high impact can cause stress fractures which will result in the posterior tibial nerve being pinched onto, causing pain at the heel and numbness at the region.

Heel pad inflammation

Located under the heel bone is the corpus adiposum which acts as a shock absorber to protect the heel bone. After repeated hard landings on the foot or overuse, inflammation of the corpus adiposum can occur, causing pain and discomfort. In more serious cases, haemorrhaging of the heel pad can happen. At times, simple activities like walking can also be a difficult task.

There are many different causes of heel pain and most of it is caused by overuse and lack of sufficient rest periods. The heel bone is an important part of our body and heel bone pain can restrict us from carrying out daily activities smoothly.

Will I develop arthritis if i had a fall during my secondary school days?

Question:

I fell and hurt my knee pretty bad back in high school. Will I be more likely to develop arthritis in my knee as I get older?

Answer:

Just because you injured your knee does not mean you’ll have problems as you age. However, significant injuries to the knee and hip have been found to increase the risk of osteoarthritis in these joints. Researchers tracked 1,337 medical students over a period of nearly twenty years to see whether people with knee or hip injuries would eventually have problems with osteoarthritis. They found that a higher percentage of people with injuries of the hip or knee in the younger years ended up having arthritis in the joint they had injured. People who are at risk because of an earlier injury should consider seeking advice on ways to improve the health of their joint and to prevent problems in the future.