Severe sprained ankles often result in ligament tears. The severity and the resulting level of care needed all hinge on many factors. The injury sustained may lead to degeneration. The ligament holds the ankle joint together and if there’s a tear that severely hinders the stability of the joint as well as leads to pain and inflammation since it is a weight bearing joint.
If you tear an ankle ligament, you’re likely to know it right away. An ankle ligament tears when its stretched beyond its limits, resulting in a painful injury.
This type of injury is common in people of all ages and abilities. Ankle tears can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage there is to the ligament.
For smaller tears and sprains, you may be able to heal it on your own by employing classic healing methods like R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation.) However, some tears are more severe and require additional treatment to fully recover.
Failure to treat your torn ligament properly can result in a more serious tear and can weaken your ankle, which makes it even more likely that you will tear it again. Repeated ankle ligament tears can lead to chronic pain and other conditions like arthritis and instability.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what an ankle ligament tear is, who’s most at risk for this type of injury, and what the treatment options are should you experience one.
How Do Ankle Ligament Tears Happen?
Ankle ligament tears are also referred to as ankle sprains. Your ankle is full of ligaments that connect adjacent bones and provide your joints with the stability you need to walk, run, jump, and bear weight.
An ankle sprain or tear is a very common injury and it can occur from a variety of different catalysts. Falling, suddenly twisting your ankle joint, or landing on your foot in an awkward position are the most common culprits. These injuries most commonly happen when you’re playing sports, jumping, or running on an uneven surface.
When you ankle ligament tears, you’ll experience any and potentially all of the following symptoms; pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, numbness, bruising, and the inability to bear any weight on the ankle.
Improper healing of the injured ligament or an incomplete rehabilitation protocol can result in long-term instability of the ankle—which you want to avoid at all costs. Your ankles support you and help you move and walk, after all.
If you suspect that you’ve torn a ligament in your ankle, you’ll want to go see your doctor right away for a proper diagnosis. They’ll run through your medical history, including any previous ankle injuries and also physically examine the ankle for signs of a sprain. Then, your doctor will likely order an X-ray to confirm their diagnosis.
Who’s at Risk for Ankle Ligament Tears?
Ankle injuries can happen to anyone, at any time. However, certain groups are more at risk for ankle sprains than others.
For example, men between the ages of 15 and 24 years and women over the age of 30 have higher rates of ankle sprains.
Over half of all the ankle sprains that occur happen during some kind of physical activity. In the United States alone, more than 1 million people each year visit emergency rooms due to ankle injuries. That’s a lot of ankle injuries!
As we mentioned, if you sprained your ankle, you’re likely to know right away that an injury occurred due to the discomfort and the almost instant onset of pain and swelling.
The most common symptoms of an ankle ligament tear include:
- Inability to bear the weight
- Skin discoloration
Ankle ligament tears are quite common, but sometimes, the problem is even more serious. This is why you must seek medical attention as soon as you know that you’ve sustained an injury.
Is Stem Cell Treatment For Ankle Ligament Tears Right For Me?
Just like most any other bodily injury, the treatment you need to heal the wound and ease the pain is dependent on the severity of the ligament tear.
For mild tears, you may begin to treat the sprain with home remedies that help promote healing. These remedies can include:
- Wrapping your ankle with an ACE bandage
- Wearing an ankle brace
- Using crutches to avoid weight-bearing
- Elevating your foot to control swelling
- Over the counter pain relievers (most have very adverse side effects.)
If you’ve tried these methods and you’re still experiencing pain, discomfort, and lack of mobility, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the torn ligament. All surgical procedures come with their own set of risks and no guarantee that the injury will be healed when all is said and done.
We recommend surgery as an absolute LAST RESORT.
So, what option do those who prefer not to go under the knife have? By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz around stem cell treatment, but did you know that you can get relief from your ankle ligament tear through regenerative medicine?
It’s true, stem cells for ankle ligament tears are being performed every day and patients are seeing amazing results. Stem cells can treat the root cause of the injury and work to heal it—this is all accomplished with a simple outpatient procedure that carries very little risk or side effects.
Get in touch for your FREE consultation and to see if stem cell shots for ankle ligament tears are right for you!