Ankle sprain: A common musculoskeletal injury in which the ligaments of the ankle partially or completely tear due to sudden stretching. This typically occurs when the ankle is suddenly “twisted” in a sports activity or by stepping off an uneven surface. The pain is initially severe and can be associated with a “popping” sensation. Immediate swelling over the area of injury often occurs as the injured blood vessels leak fluid into the local tissue. Partial tears retain some ankle stability, whereas complete tears lose stability because the strapping ligaments no longer brace the ankle joint.
Initial treatment is with ice, rest, and limiting the amount of walking and weight bearing on the injured ankle. The leg can be elevated to reduce swelling, and crutches are often recommended to avoid further trauma to the injured ligaments. Antiinflammatory medications can be given to reduce local inflammation. Severe injuries are placed in immobilization casts. Surgery may be needed for complete tears. Physical therapy programs are part of the rehabilitation process, incorporating strengthening exercises of the lower leg muscles.
- Ankle-foot orthosis
Ankle-foot orthosis: A brace, usually made of plastic, that is worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle, hold the foot and ankle in the correct position and correct foot drop. Abbreviated AFO. Also known as foot drop brace.
Ankyloglossia: A minor birth defect in which the flap of membrane attached to the underside of the tongue (frenulum) is too short. This shortened frenulum limits the mobility of the tongue. Ankyloglossia is also called tongue tie, from the folk belief that the anomaly causes feeding and speech problems. A child cannot feed or speak […]
- Ankylosing spondylitis
A form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Chronic inflammation in these areas causes pain and stiffness in and around the spine. Over time, chronic spinal inflammation (spondylitis) can lead to a complete cementing together (fusion) of the vertebrae, a process called ankylosis. Ankylosing spondylitis can sometimes be seen in patients […]
Ankylosis: Stiffness or, more often, fusion of a joint. From the Greek ankylsis, meaning stiffening of a joint.
- Ankyrin deficiency
Ankyrin deficiency: Known also as hereditary spherocytosis (HS), this is a genetic disorder of the red blood cell membrane clinically characterized by anemia, jaundice (yellowing) and splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen), due to deficiency of ankyrin, a protein in the membrane of the red cell. In HS the red cells are smaller, rounder, and more […]