How can you tell if you have torn ligaments in your ankle? The first thing to understand is where these ligaments are located and how they function. The leg’s fibia and tibia bones are held to the foot’s talus by the strong strands of tissue we call ligaments. The inside ligament (deltoid) has two layers and the deepest is particularly important because it is the one often torn in conjunction with severe ankle trauma.
The ligament on the outside of your ankle has three separate bands. The front (anterior talo-fibular) and middle (calcaneo-fibular) are those commonly associated with sprains. While you should generally have a physician examine an ankle that has sustained injury, there are a few tell-tale signs that it could be more than just a sprain.
Intense Ligament Pain
Both sprains and torn ankle ligaments will cause pain. But there should be a marked escalation in the amount of pain in the event of a tear. You’ll need to compare the way your ankle felt during previous sprains to how it feels now.
Swelling and Bruising
Torn ankle ligaments will cause interior bleeding, which in turns makes the ankle swell. The greater the swelling, the greater the damage to the ligaments. The blood cells released from a tear will darken into a noticeable bruise.
Ankle Stiffness and Instability
If you have sustained torn ligaments in your ankle, it will feel stiff due the swelling similar to a sprain. However, because the tissue isn’t holding the bones properly in place, it may also feel unstable when applying pressure as well.
Caring For Torn Ankle Ligaments
Try to keep the swelling down by elevating the leg and applying cold compresses. Avoid putting pressure on the ankle. Ligaments that do not heal properly can lead to arthritis. Overdoing it can cause additional tearing and hurt your chances for a full recovery.
Regardless of the degree of injury the ankle may have sustained, it’s important to see a doctor. If you see signs that your ankle has torn ligaments, call Southwest Foot & Ankle in Plano at 972-805-9985, in Lewisville at 972-318-2738 or in Irving at 972-318-2655 to get help from a medical professional who focuses on ankle and foot treatment every day.