Sports / Orthopedic

Managing Scar Tissue from Old Ankle Injuries

Aug 30 2019

Scar tissue and ankle injuries go hand in hand. Scar tissue can form when you damage healthy tissue anywhere on your body. Tougher, fiber-like tissue grows in the place of normal tissue as the body attempts to keep everything strong.

Scar tissue might not bother you at first, but it can eventually cause these symptoms:

  • A loss of range of motion
  • Inflammation
  • Sensitivity
  • Throbbing
  • Itchiness
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Pain

As time goes on, these symptoms can get worse and may even affect your ability to walk. Luckily, there are things you can do to manage your old scar tissue and keep your ankles healthy.


Scar tissue can keep blood from flowing well around your ankle and massage can improve circulation. Your doctor or physical therapist may do it themselves or send you to a massage therapist. You may even be able to do some self-massage at home.

Compression stockings and wraps

These items can be found at your local pharmacy and can improve blood circulation in your ankles while helping relieve pain. When worn regularly, they can even reduce inflammation and break down scar tissue in your joint.


Injections such as Botox and corticosteroids can relax your muscle while helping relieve discomfort and swelling around the painful area. Talk to your doctor about what options work best for you.

Physical therapy

A combination of stretches and exercises can help prevent more scar tissue from forming and improve ankle mobility. Joint-mobilization techniques are available as well as other treatments. Talk to your physical therapist and come up with a plan that is best for you.


If you have lots of scar tissue in your ankle and other treatments have not worked, you may need surgery to repair the area. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that removes scar tissue and has a quicker recovery time. Consult with you doctor and talk through the best course of action with your injury.

Learn more about the sports medicine services offered at Mercy Health.

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