The most frequent kind of ankle injury is a sprain involving the ligaments and bones in the ankle. This might result from a sports injury but could also come from people running for a train, running down the stairs or catching their foot on a kerbstone, particularly when wearing high heels.
Ankle sprains are common in all ages though elderly people who have reduced balance and mobility may be particularly susceptible. Other common ankle injuries and conditions that could benefit from rehabilitation treatment include a torn muscle or overstressed tendon, ongoing ankle instability, plus ankle fractures once the bone has largely healed.
The first aim in rehabilitation of an injured ankle is to try and get the swelling down, which is done at Circle with a Game Ready cold compression pack, widely used in professional sports. A cuff is placed around the joint and pumped full of a mixture of water and ice; at the same time it provides pulsing compression to take fluid away. Then physiotherapists will manipulate the ankle to try and get movement into the joint.
Circle Rehabilitation has a suite of state-of-the-art machines for treatment and exercise, unique in the UK outside specialist facilities for armed forces members, police officers and sports professionals. To get those walking with a limp because of ankle injury into a normal walking pattern – referred to as a “reciprocal gait” – sessions on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill may be beneficial. This creates a vacuum removing up to 80% of a user’s bodyweight, allowing them to exercise for longer and harder than they could unaided, and without risk of injury. As the swelling goes down, patients can use the Biodex balance system, which assesses ankle stability and balance on a dynamic footplate with gameified exercises.
If the patient is a sports enthusiast with an ankle injury, they can try biometrics to assess their movement, and muscle isokinetic testing on the sophisticated Biodex System 4 to evaluate their strength, as they return to sport and exercise. Our therapists can perform ankle taping to provide stability and pain relief and we can provide ankle orthotics and braces for support. We have gym equipment such as Bosu balls and AIREX cushions to help patients strengthen the muscles of the calf and foot.
With its holistic approach and multidisciplinary, experienced team, Circle Rehabilitation offers the advantage of ongoing rehabilitation with assessment, so that patients with ankle conditions can see the change in their condition over time. The range of equipment and opportunity for barrier-pushing exercises both enables a quicker recovery and makes for a stronger ankle in the long run.
Operations are performed to strengthen the ligaments which support the outside of the ankle in patients who sprain or turn their ankle regularly in spite of trying adequate physiotherapy.
The first phase of your recovery will be focused on managing your pain and reducing swelling. Your lower leg will be placed in a plaster and you will be provided with elbow crutches and be instructed to take no weight or partial weight through your operated leg for at least two weeks after surgery. Throughout this time, it is advisable to elevate your lower leg regularly to help reduce swelling. Under normal circumstances, after 2 weeks, the plaster will be removed, you will be able to take full weight on your operated ankle and your ankle will be placed in a softer ankle/foot brace to limit movement.
The second phase of your recovery will focus on enabling you to be able to walk with a more normal gait pattern, wean off your ankle brace as quickly as possible and strengthen your ankle and foot muscles. For this, your physiotherapist will prescribe exercises to target each of the ankle/ foot muscles with particular emphasis on strengthening your peroneal muscles and tendons. As your strength improves, your physiotherapist will advise you on some weight bearing strengthening and balance exercises to further improve the stability of your ankle and support your lateral ligament complex. Over this period, stretches of your ankle joint in to dorsiflexion (foot up position) will also be encouraged to prevent any longer-term stiffness developing which can limit function.
The third phase will begin once your walking pattern has normalized and you have enough strength and stability to begin more complex movements and impact work. You will typically start off with light impact work such as jogging on the treadmill and exercises such as squats, lunges and heel raises. Your physiotherapist will guide you but under normal circumstances once the strength of your operated leg is equal to your non-operated leg, activity or sports specific rehabilitation exercises can be commenced. This may include progressing to sprinting, jumping and rotational movements. Usually caution is given when progressing exercises after a lateral ankle stabilisation. A normal time frame for a full return to sport is up to nine months.
Providing world-class ankle rehabilitation in a purpose-designed centre.
Circle Rehabilitation is a state-of-the-art world class rehabilitation centre designed with just one aim in mind – to give people like you their independence back following an ankle injury or operation as quickly as possible.
We know that if you’re experiencing problems with your ankle you’ll be anxious about the future (and possibly also concerned about being an additional burden on those you love if you’re now a lot less mobile than you were previously).
As a specialist hip rehabilitation centre, we can offer help with ankle recovery that can continue beyond the extremely limited time that most rehabilitation services in an acute setting are able to provide.
If you’re experiencing problems with your ankle following recent surgery for an injury, please get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.
Once we’ve spoken with you, your case will be reviewed by one of our specialist ankle consultants who will be able to assess your requirements. We deal with all enquiries quickly as we know how important your hip rehabilitation is for you.
If we think we’ll be able to help you with your ankle rehabilitation we’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting with you. This can be done at Circle Rehabilitation if you’re close to Reading and able to travel or alternatively we can visit you at home if you’re unable to travel.
If you live a distance away to make an initial visit impractical we can can carry out a phone assessment instead (it should be noted that we have people coming to us for hip rehabilitation from all over the UK. You don’t have to be living in Reading to visit with us and to benefit from our level of care and support).
Having visited with you (or talked with you on the phone), we’ll draw up a comprehensive plan for your ankle rehabilitation. This will be tailored specifically to you and based on your requirements and what the best possible treatment and rehabilitation therapy would be for you.
Our highly-specialised and experienced multidisciplinary team will work with you (and anyone who is helping to support you) to ensure you receive the level of help and support you need, all based on best practice and the latest research and medical knowledge in ankle rehabilitation.
Circle offers you full support in a comfortable, friendly and relaxed environment. When you visit with us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the state-of-the-art facilities we offer and the luxurious environment you’ll be in. From the tasty and nutritious meals through to the spacious rooms available you’ll be well looked after from the moment you walk in the main entrance.
At Circle Rehabilitation our team will devise an individual treatment plan for you, including up to three hours of personal therapy a day.
We offer state of the art equipment, ample therapy space and care from a highly experienced team of therapists who are led by a rehabilitation consultant.
Your treatment plan is adjusted every day based on how you’re progressing. We measure your progress daily and can adapt the treatment plan as required.
We know that everyone is different and so we’ll make sure that your treatment plan is:
- tailored just for you
- based on up-to-date best practice knowledge
- reviewed daily to ensure you’re making the progress you should be
We know that sometimes staying away from home can be unsettling for people. If you’d like a family member to stay overnight with you, every one of our 15 rooms has a pull-out bed for them to use. We find that many people really appreciate having a family member there for them in the initial stages, as an additional emotional support.
We actively encourage family members to visit and be involved in your rehabilitation as we know how much of a difference it can make. It can help your family to find out firsthand about the exercises you’re doing (and any that you may need to continue to do), and about any lifestyle changes, you may have to consider in the future depending on the extent of your ankle problems. They’ll also be able to encourage you when the therapy is more demanding and to celebrate the “little wins” every day with you.
Since we first opened doors at Circle Rehabilitation we’ve developed exceptionally strong relationships with local hospitals (such as the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital) and with a number of local and national trauma networks (such as the Wessex Trauma Network).
With our powerful combination of advanced rehabilitation technology and equipment, our knowledgeable and experienced staff and our cost-effective ability to deliver personalised, high-quality care, we find that we’re often asked to help ease the burden on these overstretched healthcare resources by helping their patients with their recovery and rehabilitation.
When you have your ankle rehabilitation with us, you’ll benefit from our team of highly-specialised and skilled physicians. They work together to ensure you’ll receive the best care, treatment and support possible.
For example, we often find that family members can benefit hugely from talking with our specialist clinical psychologist. Recovering from an ankle injury or operation can be challenging for everyone involved, and family members often find that being able to talk with someone about the unique pressures they’re facing is really helpful.
At Circle Rehabilitation we’re not just here for you. We’re here to support you family as well while we all work towards your ankle rehabilitation and getting your independence back.