Each day, approximately 25,000 people suffer an ankle sprain injury. Overall, the most common ankle injuries reported in emergency rooms are sprains, strains, and fractures. Sprains cause injury to the ankle’s ligaments and fibers. Muscles and tendons are harmed when an ankle strain has occurred. Ankle fractures occur when a bone in the remote ends of the tibia or fibula is either partially or completely broken. (http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-ankle/Pages/Ankle-Fracture.aspx).
Ankle injuries can prevent you from working and engaging in activities you enjoy. If you believe you have suffered an ankle injury due to a car crash, fall-down, sports-related injury, or work-related injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to receive a proper evaluation.What can cause an ankle injury?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, many ankle fractures and sprains or strains occur when your foot turns or twists around beyond its normal range of motion during sports such as running, football, basketball, tennis, and gymnastics. An ankle injury can easily occur from tripping, stumbling over an object, or walking on a slippery or uneven surface. Sudden work injuries (workers’ compensation claims) or car accidents can cause ankle injuries as well.What are the types of ankle injuries?
A sprained ankle is an injury to a ligament, a strong, fibrous elastic band that holds the bones and joints of the ankle together. Ligaments stretch when you move your ankle, but also protect your ankle from abnormal movements. An ankle sprain occurs when ligaments become stretched or torn, usually from twisting, rolling, or turning the foot beyond its normal range.
There are different levels or grades of ankle sprains depending on the extent of damage to the ligament:
Grade I: This is a mild sprain where ligament fibers have been stretched, but are usually not torn. There may be some swelling along with soreness, but no instability. Grade I sprains usually take 2-4 weeks to heal and gain full mobility.
Grade II: This is a moderate, more painful sprain injury in which the ligament is partially torn. There is some swelling and bruising throughout the ankle and foot. The ankle may feel looser (increased laxity). Treatment includes immobilization of the ankle with a splint or brace to increase stability. A Grade II sprain may take 6-8 weeks to heal.
Grade III: This is a severe sprain injury with gross joint instability, and typically results in a ligamentous rupture, or complete tear of the ligament. There is sharp and severe pain with significant swelling and extensive bruising. Often, the severe instability makes walking difficult, and crutches or a walking boot are needed to help the ankle heal. If surgery is required, it may take 12 weeks to 6 months for full recovery.
An ankle strain (unlike an ankle sprain) deals with muscles and tendons of the ankle, and not the ligaments and fibers. An ankle strain occurs when a muscle or tendon in the ankle is stretched or torn. Strain injuries are less common than ankle sprains.
An ankle fracture is a partial or complete bone break. A broken ankle involves the far or distal ends of the tibia, fibula, or both bones. Ankle fractures generally occur at the ankle joint or at the syndesmosis joint. Doctors classify ankle fractures according to the area of bone that is broken. For examples, a fracture at the distal end of the fibula is called a lateral malleolus fracture, and if both the tibia and fibula are broken, it is called a bimalleolar fracture.
What are the warning signs of an ankle injury?
Per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, you should consult a doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms in your ankle area:
- Pain at or near the ankle
- Swelling, either at the ankle or extending up along the leg
- Inability to walk or bear any weight on the injured ankle
Why is it important to see an orthopedic surgeon if I believe I have an ankle injury?
Although minor injuries may resolve with home treatment, Grade II and III sprains as well as fractures may require medical intervention. During your visit, your orthopedic surgeon will examine your ankle and may order X-rays to assess the amount of damage. Your surgeon will diagnose the injury, and recommend treatment that ranges from foot elevation and rest to physical therapy to open surgery.
If the ligament or tendon is ruptured, or a broken bone is out of place, surgery will most likely be needed. Typically, during ankle fracture surgeries, the surgeon will perform an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). An ORIF procedure involves placing the broken bones back together and then using screws or metal plates to hold the bones together.
Some of Our Firm’s Settlements for Ankle Injuries in Illinois:
Ankle injury claim, automobile negligence. Champaign County, Illinois. The attorneys at John J. Malm & Associates achieved a $300,000 ankle injury settlement on behalf of their client, a 19-year-old University of Illinois student. A pickup truck struck the young woman as she was walking on an Urbana, Illinois sidewalk. The woman suffered serious injuries, including a broken ankle and underwent surgery.
Ankle injury lawsuit, slip and fall accident/premises liability. Cook County, Illinois. A plaintiff represented by Naperville personal injury attorney John J. Malm received a $250,000 ankle injury settlement resulting from the failure of an Arlington Heights, Illinois funeral home to remove “black ice” on a sloped sidewalk. The suit alleged that the facility neglected to remove ice that had collected around the base of a wheelchair ramp. The woman, who was visiting the funeral home, slipped and fell on the icy walkway and suffered a fractured ankle and ruptured tendon and underwent two surgeries to repair the ruptured tendon.
Ankle injury claim, automobile negligence. DuPage County, Illinois. John J. Malm & Associates reached a $200,000 underinsured motorist settlement on behalf of a 60 year-old Burr Ridge woman who was struck in a rear-end car accident, injuring her right ankle. The client suffered a comminuted ankle fracture and underwent an open reduction and internal fixation (“ORIF”) surgery.
Ankle Injury lawsuit, premises liability/trip and fall accident. DuPage County, Illinois. The Naperville personal injury firm John J. Malm & Associates reached a confidential settlement for its client, who tripped and fell in an improperly maintained piece of sidewalk. The lawsuit alleged that the woman tripped and fell into a hole which existed due to the city’s failure to repair the broken sidewalk. In the complaint against the City of Naperville, Mr. Malm alleged that the City failed to maintain, fix or correct the hole which measured some 3” deep and 16” x 28” wide.
Ankle Injury lawsuit, slip and fall accident/premises liability. DuPage County, Illinois. A confidential settlement was reached on behalf of a Warrenville, Illinois woman who slipped in a puddle of water negligently left near the kitchen of a Lombard, Illinois restaurant. The woman was diagnosed with trimalleolar fracture of the right ankle with posterior dislocation and underwent surgery extensive physical therapy.
Ankle injuries often take many weeks or months to resolve, and sometimes result in permanent symptoms. If you have suffered an ankle injury due to a car accident, fall down, sports-related injury, or a work-related injury, seek immediate medical attention and speak with a knowledgeable injury attorney at John J. Malm & Associates.