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Stopping ankle injuries in their tracks

08 June 2018 Blog
Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Ben Jeffcote explains how you can protect yourself from injuring your ankle.

What can I do to avoid an ankle injury? 

There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of injuring your ankle.

These include:

  • warming up before starting exercise where pressure will be applied to the ankle
  • doing regular exercise to strengthen the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint
  • always wear appropriate shoes for the activity you are attempting and make sure they are done up properly
  • mind where you walk and where possible, avoid uneven surfaces
  • if you have had an ankle injury before, make sure your ankle is adequately supported, either by your footwear or by taping it up before you start
  • do not do weight-bearing activities if your ankle is already sore.

What should I do if I think I have injured my ankle?

Ankle injuries can vary in their severity, so it is important to stop what you are doing immediately if you begin to feel pain.

If there is swelling, elevate and ice your ankle as soon as you can, making sure not to apply ice directly to your bare skin.

Avoid applying heat, and resist the temptation to rub or massage the area. This will only increase the swelling.

If the pain and/or swelling persists, seek professional advice from your family doctor or attend your local hospital emergency department.

How long does recovery take after an ankle injury?

Recovery after ankle injuries differs completely depending on the severity of your injury and how quickly you want to get back up and moving again.

For some injuries you can be back in action after one week but other injuries can take many weeks or months to recover.

If you need surgery, recovery can take longer.

It is important that you do everything you can to get your ankles back in good working order because they support your entire body and ensure you have good mobility for the rest of your life.

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Mr Ben Jeffcote - Orthopaedic Surgeon

Ben Jeffcote is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who works at St John of God Murdoch Hospital. Ben performs all types of orthopaedic surgery with a particular focus on knee replacement biomechanics, knee ligament balance and patellofemoral kinematics. His current research interests include knee cartilage reconstruction, outcomes of arthroscopic meniscal surgery and robotic assistance on partial knee arthroplasty.