The ankles support the entire body weight and ankle injuries are very common. Each year, approximately 2 million patients are treated for ankle sprains and strains, and ankle fractures are one of the most common injuries treated by orthopedists and podiatrists. Ankle injuries usually involve a sudden, unexpected, loss of balance that results in a sharp twist of the ankle.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon overstretches. Sprains are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 (mild, moderate, and severe), depending on the degree of tearing to the ligaments. In most cases, x-rays are performed to rule out a fracture or dislocation.
A sprain, which is more serious, occurs when strong connective tissue that connects one bone to another (ligament) becomes overstretched.
A stress fracture is a crack in the outer shell of the bone, necessitating limited weight bearing and possibly a cast. When a ligament tears and may pull a fragment of bone with it. When a piece of bone is pulled away, it is known as an avulsion fracture. A simple fracture is more serious than a stress fracture and involves a complete break of the bone into two pieces. In a comminuted fracture, the bone is shattered into several fragments.
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