Information for Patients
Ankle Injuries and Disorders
Your ankle bone and the ends of your two lower leg bones make up the ankle joint. Your ligaments, which connect bones to one another, stabilize and support it. Your muscles and tendons move it.
The most common ankle problems are sprains and fractures. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments. It may take a few weeks to many months to heal completely. A fracture is a break in a bone. You can also injure other parts of the ankle such as tendons, which join muscles to bone, and cartilage, which cushions your joints. Ankle sprains and fractures are common sports injuries.
Foot Injuries and Disorders
Each of your feet has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. No wonder a lot of things can go wrong. Here are a few common problems:
- Bunions - hard, painful bumps on the big toe joint
- Corns and calluses - thickened skin from friction or pressure
- Plantar warts - warts on the soles of your feet
- Fallen arches - also called flat feet
Ill-fitting shoes often cause these problems. Aging and being overweight also increase your chances of having foot problems.
A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, including
- Arthritis - inflammation of a joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. Over time, the joint can become severely damaged.
- Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint
- Dislocations - injuries that force the ends of the bones out of position
Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery. For arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, you may need joint replacement surgery to remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases