Frequent ankle sprains increase cartilage damage

Noting that ankle cartilage injuries should be taken seriously, Assoc. Dr. Bilgehan Çatal stated that these injuries would be risky, saying: “When cartilage injuries are mentioned, knee cartilage is the first thing that comes to mind. Looking at the frequency, ankle cartilage problems come right after the cartilage damage in the knee. In fact, ankle cartilage injuries take up a lot of space to change patients’ daily lives, but the public is less aware of this problem than in the knees. Frequent ankle sprains can cause cartilage damage because they are not treated properly.

It is most common in the young male population.

Noting that ankle cartilage injuries increased after traumatic events, Assoc. Dr. Bilgehan Çatal continued as follows:

“After a sprain or fracture, the patient may have a cartilage injury in the ankle. With the rotation of the ankle, the ankle bone, which we call the talus, becomes covered with cartilage and touches the shin bone that forms the upper end of the joint, causing various cartilage damage in that area. An ankle sprain is one of the most common orthopedic injuries. There is hardly anyone who has not suffered from an ankle sprain. Ankle cartilage injuries are more common in the young male population, who are more interested in football and basketball-like sports. Ankle injuries are the most common injuries in basketball anyway. In terms of incidence, if we look at the US data, there are almost 20 thousand cases of ankle sprains per day. Therefore, we can say that these injuries are very common.”

See your doctor if your foot is stuck or stuck.

associate Noting that in some patients cartilage injuries cause no symptoms because they are small, Çat provided the following information:

“Deep pain in the wrist when the patient walks or stands is one of the most important clinical findings of cartilage injury. Unnoticed cartilage injuries may pass in patients with mild pain. Apart from this, in response to cartilage injuries; swelling in the ankle, increased fluid in the ankle joint. Sometimes we can see mechanical symptoms such as hooking and jamming in cartilage injuries in the ankle. Frequent ankle sprains are one of the risk factors. For patients who come to us with complaints such as swollen ankles and blockage, we first take an X-ray. But X-rays alone are not enough to show cartilage damage. That is why we request ankle MRI of patients with suspected ankle cartilage damage. MRI shows us well whether there is cartilage damage or edema in the bone under the cartilage.”

Non-surgical treatment possible with functional rehabilitation

Assoc. states that the first method of treatment to be applied to patients is non-surgical. Dr Çatal said: “We can illustrate non-surgical treatments as follows; to reduce sports, give the patient a rest for a while and apply anti-edema drugs. To prevent recurrent ankle sprains, we have our patients functionally rehabilitated. Functional rehabilitation is one of the non-surgical treatments we initially offer to prevent ankle sprains. We apply non-surgical treatments to the patient for about 3 to 6 months. If the non-surgical treatments we use don’t work after 6 months, we start discussing surgical options with the patient. We present two operations, closed and open, that can be performed according to the condition of the ankle, with their details, to our patient. When ankle sprains are not treated properly, a third of them develop a chronic problem that can cause pain. Recurrent ankle sprains and cartilage damage can occur. Some soft tissues can get stuck in the joint after poor healing. Therefore, it should not be regarded as a simple ankle sprain. You should definitely consult a specialist and be treated properly. The better it is treated, the less the problems are seen,” he said.

80% of patients can return to their previous level after surgery.

associate Dr Çatal also drew attention to the physiotherapy that patients should undergo after surgery, saying: “We can treat most ankle cartilage damage with the method we call closed surgery, i.e. ankle arthroscopy, depending on the location and size of the lesion, i.e. the cartilage damage. After this closed operation, the patient does not step on him in a period of about 4 weeks, especially since we are performing cartilage repair. After this process we immediately start physiotherapy and after about 6 weeks our patient starts to resume his daily life. In open surgery, we perform cases with greater cartilage damage. Similar to cartilage transplantation, we take the cartilage from the non-weight-bearing part of the knee and transfer it to the ankle. This is called mosaic plastic. This transplant is seen in more advanced cases. Another method that has been used recently is; We take a piece of cartilage from the patient with a biopsy, send it to the lab, reproduce the patient’s own cartilage, and then transplant cartilage into the damaged area. Of course, an emerging treatment is likely to become more readily available and become the gold standard treatment option in the future. According to the surgeries performed, nearly 80 percent of athletes are able to return to their pre-operative or pre-injury sports level. This is a ridiculous number. Of course, as I said, the physical therapy and rehabilitation process is important to return to sports. In sports such as basketball and football, this period varies between 6 and 9 months,” he concludes.

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