What are Ligaments of The Ankle? Types, Symptoms & Recovery Time

What are ligaments of the ankle?

Have you ever missed a stair, just slipped or just rolled your ankle and felt pain? Yes, this is the sprained ankle pain. The over-rotation of ligaments of the ankle becomes stretched that gives you pain and swelling.

People don’t understand the severity of the sprain unless significant damage occurs. That’s why it is important to understand the severity of the injury for its treatment as well as potential recovery.

In case a ligament is only stretched, you can usually move your foot normally again within a very short time. Although ankle sprain is painful as a ligament is made up of many bones.

Ligaments of The Ankle

Lateral ankle ligaments

Ligaments are like soft tissue, which is made up of collagen. Ligaments contain low vascularity that means they are not able to receive much blood flow. The lack of blood flow results into slower to heal as compared to other types of soft tissue.

Different types of ligaments in the ankle

ligaments of the ankle

There are three major ligaments on the outside of the ankle that makes the lateral ligament complex.

Anterior Talofibular Ligament – ATFL

The Anterior Talofibular Ligament that connects the front of talus to the fibula/shin bone. This is weakest and most commonly injured ligament in the ankle. Whenever a foot is planted unnaturally or your ankle twists this ligament is affected most due to its lateral position in the ankle.

In case the injury is minor the strain of ATFL will mend itself in 3-4 days.

Calcaneofibular Ligament – CFL

The Calcaneofibular ligament connects the calcaneus/heel bone to the fibula. When you twist foot too much while the toes point upwards towards the shin. To diagnose this damage a talar tilt test is done. The doctor examines the foot to create an inversion in case there is a pain, then CFL is the cause.

Posterior Talofibular Ligament – PTFL

The posterior talofibular ligament connects the rear of the talus bone to the tubular. PTFL has a secondary role after the AFTL and CFL. Also, it is the least commonly injured of the three ligaments.

calcaneofibular ligament

What is calcaneofibular ligament?

Calcaneofibular connects the talus and heel bones of your foot. This ligament is 2cm in length, five millimeters wide and three millimeters thick. The ligament is slack when a person is standing. The calcaneofibular ligament is responsible to control inversion.

ligaments of the ankle
Source: Wikipedia

Here the inversion stands for turning the foot on its side, so that bottom of the faces the opposite foot. Due to too much twist in the foot, this ligament got hurt. This damage is diagnosed by a doctor using the talar tilt test. In this test, the leg is held above the ankle and the foot is turned to create an inversion.

If there is a pain it means the ligament connecting the talus and calcaneus is the reason.

Torn ankle ligaments symptoms

Torn ankle ligaments symptoms

The ankle is sprained due to rolling, twisting or turning your ankle in an awkward way. It can stretch or tear the tough bands of ligaments which hold your ankle bones together.

Ligaments stabilize joints and prevent excessive movements. When the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion that results in a sprain in your ankle. Here are the torn ankle ligaments symptoms:

Pain immediately after the injury

This is the first symptom of a torn ligament. Although the amount of pain is not enough to diagnose a tear, only it is an idea the tear might have occurred. If the patient is experiencing an ankle injury earlier, he or she can compare the level of pain and feel how severe their current injury is.

Swelling and bruising is there

The ankle bears most of the body’s weight, swelling etc. occurs after an injury. The degree of swelling/bruising depends on the individual and severity of the injury.

Degree of instability

A severe lack of stability, balance or ability to bear weight are the signs for a ligament has been torn. The doctor tests the stability of the ankle with several physical exam maneuvers. If you are facing any of the symptoms you must visit the expert of an orthopedic to check the severity of the injury to get the appropriate treatment.

ligament in ankle pictures

ligament in ankle pictures

ligaments of the ankle
ligaments of the ankle surgery
ligaments of the ankle case
Torn ligament in ankle recovery time

Torn ligament in ankle recovery time

It takes at least six weeks to heal your muscle strengthen ankle has different muscles and ligaments which provides strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

The torn ligament in ankle recovery is tricky and the period of recovery depends on the level of activity for example level of activity and severity of the sprain.

The recovery of an ankle sprain is classified to the extent of damage to ligaments of the ankle.

1. Grade I

A mild sprain caused due to stretching and mild tearing of the ligaments. As a result of this, the suffering will feel soreness without instability and mild swelling. The grade I take 2-4 weeks or more to regain full mobility for swelling to resolve.

2. Grade II

The moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligament that results in moderate pain, some joint instability and swelling with bruising throughout the ankle and foot. The patient will get the benefit from wearing an elastic bandage or air splint.

3. Grade III

This is a severe sprain with gross joint instability and possible ligament rupture. The patient feels severe pain with significant swelling and extensive bruising. Recovery of this sprain depends on the physical therapists and orthopedic physicians. The patient may require to wear a splint, cast or brace to help immobilize the ankle.

In the event of full rupture or fracture, the surgery may be required to reconstruct the ligament. In the case where the surgery is required the patient needs therapy of 12 weeks to six months.

Contact your clinic as early as possible when you need Medical ankle ligaments. Follow the advice of your physician and go back to the activity which is recommended. Do not push yourself or feel any pressure to get back into sports or other activity too early. Sprains heal well, but they need time to get well soon!

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