People don’t generally tend to associate ankle sprains with ankle arthritis due to its seemingly innocuous presentation in comparison to ankle fractures or dislocations, however recurrent ankle sprains can result in serious trauma to the ankle. Post traumatic arthritis secondary to recurrent ankle sprains is actually one of the most common cause s of the ankle joint surfaces (cartilage) wearing out prematurely (ankle arthritis).
Did you know that around 50% more energy per step is produced within the ankle joint than other joints such as the knees and hips? That’s a lot of energy! It does however explain why even an ankle sprain, and resulting alteration in biomechanics, can produce such a devastating, long-term effect on your ankle.
The ankle is made up of the shinbone (tibia) and ankle (talus) with ligaments surrounding these bones. Ligaments are made up of soft tissue that mainly consist of collagen. Sprains to the ankle usually occur on the outside (lateral) ligaments of the ankle following an inversion injury. Sprains can occur in different ways from minute tears in the fibers that make up the ligaments, to complete transverse tears of the ligament itself. Call Houston Podiatrist Sherman Nagler for a consultation.
The reason that ankle arthritis can occur following recurrent ankle sprains is due to the alternation in biomechanics of the ankle joint. Over time, the cartilage of the ankle wears away, resulting in ankle arthritis. These mechanical changes can result in instability of the ankle and mal-alignment (secondary to advanced arthritis) if appropriate steps are not taken initially to manage the injured ankle following ligamentous injuries.
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