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An overview of ankle injuries

Our ankles are extremely susceptible to damage as they bear the weight of our entire bodies. Consequently, those that are overweight are more at risk of sustaining an ankle injury. Read more about what a personal injury is.

Around 2 million patients in the UK are treated for strains, sprains and fractures every year. A sprain or strain to the ankle could be a consequence of tripping on an uneven paving slab whereas a fracture could be sustained when falling down the stairs and landing awkwardly. Other types of ankle injury include dislocations, contusions and infections. Read more about scenarios in which a personal injury may occur.

Ankle sprains and strains

The most common types of ankle injury are strains and sprains. There is a distinct difference between these two injuries. A sprain occurs when ligaments and tendons, whereas a strain is usually overstretching of a muscle or tendon.

When you sprain your ankle, damage is usually sustained to the talo-fibula ligament and in more severe cases the calcanao-fibula ligament will receive trauma.

ankle injury

Ankle injury treatment advice

You should seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible after sustaining an ankle injury. However, doctors advise there are some things that you can do immediately to ease the pain and swelling, such as RICE:

Rest - take your weight off the ankle and minimise strenuous use.

Ice - apply a cold compress for 20 minutes every hour to reduce swelling. Use a bag of ice or frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel.

Compression - firmly wrap an elastic bandage around the ankle and foot or wear a support stocking. But, don't pull it too tight and loosen immediately if swelling persists.

Elevation - sit in a position that allows you to lift your ankle above heart level as much as possible in the first 48 hours after injury. This will help minimise bruising and swelling.

For severe injuries, an X-ray may be required to look for bone fragments or damage to the joints. A medical professional or specialist may then use the following methods to treat your ankle injury:

Ankle injury prognosis

Most ankle strains and sprains take between two and six weeks to heal, following proper treatment. However, a severe ankle injury may take up to 12 weeks and physical therapy may be needed.

Surgical repair of the ankle ligaments may be required in extreme cases if the patient is suffering from constant pain and recurrent ankle sprains. Following surgery, the foot and ankle will need to be placed in a cast for around two weeks. These procedures have a high success rate with up to 85% of patients experiencing full recovery.

Ankle injury prevention

You can take simple steps to reduce the likelihood of sustaining an ankle injury:

Compensation amounts for ankle injuries

The amount of personal injury compensation that you receive depends on the extent of the damage to your ankle. Most ankle injuries are worth less than 10,000 although approximate compensation amounts are as follows:

Modest ankle injury - up to 7,500
Compensation for minor or undisplaced fractures and ligamentous injuries is determined by whether complete recovery has been made.

If recovery is complete the amount will be determined by whether there is any tendency for the ankle to give way, scarring, aching and discomfort are experienced or there is a possibility of osteoarthritis developing. Compensation for those that recover within one year is unlikely to exceed 3,250.

Moderate ankle injury - 7,250 to 14,750
Fractures and tears to the ligaments which lead to disabilities such as difficulty walking on uneven ground, awkwardness on stairs.

Severe ankle injury - 17,500 to 27,500
Where an extensive period of treatment, lengthy period in plaster or where pins and plates have been inserted and there is ankle instability and limited ability to walk is experienced. Failed arthodesis (fusion of the joints), persistent sleep disturbance, unsightly scarring and the need to wear special footwear will determine the compensation amount received.

Very severe ankle injury - 27,500 to 38,000
These are rare and include cases of transmalleolar fracture with major soft-tissue damage, resulting in deformity and the risk that any future injury might require amputation below the knee. Cases of bilateral ankle fractures, causing degeneration of joints at a young age so arthrodesis is necessary, may also qualify.

Compensation amounts for Achilles tendon injuries

Minor Achilles tendon injury - 4,000 to 5,500
A turn of the ankle which results in minimal damage to the tendon and feeling unsure that your ankles can offer adequate support.

Moderate Achilles tendon injury - 8,000 to 10,000
Where the tendon has divided completely but there is no major functional disability after repair.

Severe Achilles tendon injury - 13,500 to 16,500
Where the tendon has successfully repaired but there is residual weakness, and scarring, ankle movement is limited, presence of a limp and further improvement is unlikely.

Very severe Achilles tendon injury - around 20,000
Severance of the tendon and the peroneus longus muscle, causing cramp, swelling and restricted ankle movement, putting an end to participation in active sports.

Making a compensation claim for an ankle injury today

If you have suffered an ankle injury through no fault of your own then you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.

Our personal injury solicitors are highly experienced with such cases and have a fantastic success rate. They will guide you through each stage of the claim process and provide you with free legal advice along the way.

You can claim for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and medical expenses such as prescriptions. We may even be able to arrange for you to receive specialist medical care in your area. Read more about what you can claim for.

We offer our clients a no win, no fee service, which means that making a claim with us is risk free.

Making a personal injury claim for an ankle injury couldn't be easier. Our claim team are available 24-hours a day so simply call us for free on 0800 197 32 32 to start the ball rolling.