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Get Back in the Game with PRP Ankle Injections

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A woman sitting and rubbing her ankle that's in pain.

Not only are ankle injuries painful, but they’re also incredibly frustrating. They have the potential to prevent you from participating in your favorite hobbies, such as playing sports, going for a hike, or simply taking a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Ankle pain can significantly limit your ability to move and enjoy life to the fullest. 

Fortunately, we have a solution that can make chronic ankle pain a thing of the past. PRP ankle injections are a form of regenerative medicine that delivers a non-invasive, integrated approach to healing. In this article, we’ll discuss how PRP therapy helps specific ankle injuries, what to do after PRP therapy, and exercises to help strengthen your ankle.  

How Do PRP Injections Help Ankle Injuries?

One key aspect of PRP injections is the preparation process. The procedure involves drawing a small sample of the patient’s blood and then centrifuging it to separate the platelets from other components. These concentrated platelets are then injected directly into the injured area of the ankle. Platelets contain growth factors that play a crucial role in healing damaged tissues by promoting cell growth, collagen production, and tissue repair. 

The influx of growth factors from PRP injections can stimulate the body’s natural healing response in the injured ankle. This can lead to reduced pain, improved mobility, and faster recovery times compared to traditional treatments alone. PRP injections have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote better overall healing outcomes for individuals with chronic ankle conditions or recurring injuries. 

woman hand touching her leg pain because of twisted ankle broken

What Kinds of Ankle Injuries Can PRP Injections Treat?

PRP injections can treat a variety of ankle conditions that will enhance comfort, remove pain, and reduce the risk of a recurring injury. Some of the most common ankle injuries include:

Ankle Arthritis

PRP injections have been shown to stimulate the production of new collagen and cartilage in the joint, which can improve joint function and reduce pain. This regenerative effect makes PRP injections a promising option for patients dealing with ankle arthritis. It can help reduce inflammation, promote the healing of damaged tissues, and potentially slow down the progression of the disease. 

Ankle Sprain

When it comes to treating a sprained ankle, PRP injections can help by promoting the formation of new tissue and stimulating blood flow to the injured area. This increased blood flow can deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the ankle, helping to speed up healing and reduce inflammation. 

Ligament Tear

PRP injections are a proven treatment method for those who have torn an ankle ligament. These growth factors not only help to repair damaged tissue but also attract cells to the injured area, further aiding in the healing process. It can also help to strengthen and stabilize the injured ligament, reducing the risk of re-injury. This is especially important in the case of ankle ligament tears, as re-injury can be common if the ligament does not heal properly. 

Peroneal Tendonitis

When PRP is injected into the affected area of the peroneal tendons, it can reduce inflammation, promote tissue repair, and improve overall function of the tendons. The platelets release various proteins that attract cells to the site of injury, which can further aid in tissue regeneration. The improved blood flow from the injection can also help remove waste products and reduce inflammation in the tendons. 

Post-Ankle Injection Instructions

First and foremost, it is important to follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the medical team who performed the PRP ankle injection. These instructions may include guidelines on rest, activity modification, or icing the injection site. 

  • Keep weight off the ankle. It is advisable to avoid putting weight on the injected ankle for a period of time as directed by your healthcare provider. This may involve using crutches or a brace to support and protect the ankle while it heals. 
  • Avoid strenuous activities that may strain the ankle. While it is important to stay active and mobile during the healing process, it is also crucial to avoid activities that could put excessive stress on the ankle. This includes high-impact exercises, running, jumping, or any other activities that may aggravate the injury. 
  • Follow up with your healthcare provider as scheduled. It is important to attend any follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your progress and ensure that the PRP ankle injection is working as intended. 
  • Wear a supportive ankle brace. An ankle brace can alleviate any unnecessary stress on the joints and ligaments during the healing process. This allows the regenerative medicine access and heals the damaged tissue more efficiently.  
  • If you’re experiencing mild discomfort, icing the injection area can reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain.  

You Might Also Like: Post-PRP Injection Instructions: Does Knee Bracing Help? 

A blue, gray and black ankle brace.

At-Home Ankle Exercises

Always consult with your medical provider before doing any physical activity after an injury. 

  • Ankle Circles: Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift one foot off the ground and begin to rotate your ankle in a circular motion. Perform 10-15 rotations in each direction, then switch to the other ankle. This exercise helps improve flexibility, range of motion, and circulation in the ankle joint.  
  • Heel Raises: Stand facing a wall or chair for support, and slowly raise your heels off the ground as high as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your heels back down. Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions to help strengthen the calf muscles and improve balance. 
  • Toe Curls: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place a towel or resistance band under one foot and use your toes to curl the towel or band towards you. Hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions on each foot to strengthen the muscles in your toes and improve overall ankle stability. 
  • Alphabet Exercise: Sit comfortably in a chair with one leg extended in front of you. Use your big toe to “write” the letters of the alphabet in the air. Repeat this exercise with the other foot to work on improving range of motion and control in the ankle joint. 

These are meant to be low intensity workouts after you get approval from your medical provider.  

Ankle Injury FAQs

To help you better understand ankle injuries and how to manage them, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to provide you with essential information and guidance on how to care for your injured ankle. 

Symptoms of an ankle injury may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have injured your ankle to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

For minor sprains, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are often recommended to reduce swelling and promote healing. However, in accordance with principles of Chinese medicine, applying heat may be more appropriate in certain cases, particularly when the injury is in the chronic stage or if stagnant lymph fluids are contributing to pain and stiffness. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider or practitioner of Chinese medicine to determine the most suitable approach for individual cases. More serious injuries might require bracing or physical therapy. 

Recovery timelines for ankle injuries can also vary depending on the severity of the injury and how well you adhere to your treatment plan. Minor sprains may heal within a few weeks with proper care, while more severe injuries may take several months to fully recover. It is important to be patient and allow your body time to heal before returning to normal activities to prevent re-injury. 

Yes, it can be very beneficial to do PRP therapy with other treatment options such as physical therapy or ozone therapy.

Each medical condition and treatment method is different. We recommend you contact our office, and we’ll discuss your specific condition. 

Eliminate Ankle Pain with Family Integrative Medicine

If you have any additional questions or concerns about ankle injuries, do not hesitate to reach out to Family Integrative Medicine for assistance. Remember that early intervention and proper care are essential for managing ankle injuries effectively.  

Take the necessary steps to protect your ankle health and seek medical attention if you suspect an injury to ensure a prompt recovery. By staying informed and proactive, you can effectively manage ankle injuries and prevent future issues. 407.751.2192 

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