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Bruised Ankle

Bruised Ankle

A bruised ankle is a common condition that usually occurs while playing sports or doing exercises. Go through this article to get some useful information related to the problems related to the ankle and treatment methods for the same.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
The ankle joint consists of ligaments, bones, tendons, and muscles. The ligaments provide support to the ankle bones and keep the joint stable; while tendons are the tissues that attach the bones to the muscles. Any kind of injury to these ligaments, tendons, and bones can lead to a bruised ankle.
Causes and Symptoms
The most common cause of a bruise in the ankle is ligament damage which could be in the form of mild to severe sprain, or it could be a complete rupture of the ligament. Inflammation in the tendons due to overuse of feet is another cause of bruising. Fracture or dislocation of the ankle bones can also be held responsible for this. Tear may develop in the ligament after the ankle bones are fractured and the joint loses its stability.
Apart from the injuries, bruising can be associated with problems in the circulatory system. If you have it after long hours of flight, or traveling by car; then it is because of bad circulation. Sometimes, the underlying cause of bruised ankle is deep thrombophlebitis. This is a health condition where blood clots are formed deep within the leg and block a particular vein in the leg. Other causes of ankle bruise are nerve damage, obesity, varicose veins, heart and kidney diseases.
The most commonly observed symptoms of an injured ankle are pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint. The severity of these symptoms can vary from mild to severe; and largely depend on seriousness of the injury sustained. Sometimes, the joint becomes so stiff and swollen that activities like walking and running can become extremely painful. In serious cases of bruised ankle, the joint tends to become unstable.
  • When your ankle is bruised, the first thing that needs to be done is to give complete rest to your feet in order to prevent any further aggravation of the damage. While resting, try to place the affected foot in an elevated condition. This is a must for treatment as it controls the inflammation.

  • Application of ice to the painful site for the first one or two days proves to be highly beneficial as it has a soothing effect on the soreness, and reduces the inflammation too. Apply the ice cube for 15 minutes after wrapping it up in a piece of cloth. Then take a break for half an hour and apply it all over again.

  • In case the pain is unbearable, painkillers should be taken after consulting a doctor.

  • If the injured joint is in an unstable condition, then wearing an ankle brace compresses the ankle and makes the movement of the joint easier.

  • Once the pain and swelling goes down, massaging the area with the help of a physiotherapist helps in faster recovery.

  • In case there is some ligament tear, you cannot move the foot at all. In such cases, surgery is required to repair the damage.

If it arises because of excessive body weight, then you have to lose weight in order to ease off the pressure from the ankles. When it is a symptom of circulation problem or any other underlying disease, the treatment is then aimed at eliminating the actual cause. The recovery time can vary in between four to six weeks. It will get extended to a few months if surgery is required.
Once you have sustained an ankle injury, you have to be extra careful while resuming your normal sports activities or exercises. Take it easy and make sure you do not put too much pressure on your feet. Start with some simple stretching exercises to make the joints flexible. Most importantly, wear a good pair of shoes while playing or exercising, that can provide an adequate cushion to the feet, and prevent injuries.
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for proper medical advice and treatment.