Posts for tag: Sprained Ankle
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries to the ankle, resulting from a fall or a sudden twist that forces the ligaments out of their normal position. It’s no wonder so many athletes suffer from ankle sprains every year.
The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Look for the following symptoms if you think you have sprained your ankle:
- Immediate pain at the site of the tear
- Immediate swelling
- Hearing or feeling something tear, pop or snap during the twist
- Pain and difficulty moving the ankle
- Inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle
Treating your ankle sprain
Early treatment of a sprained ankle can improve the recovery time and minimize symptoms. The following steps will reduce swelling and help alleviate pain until you can get into our Norfolk or Suffolk office.
- Rest: Stay off your ankle as much as possible. This will ease pain as well as reduce the swelling.
- Ice: It’s critical to ice your injured ankle throughout the day for the first 24 hours or until the swelling goes down.
- Compression: Elastic wraps, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Rest with your ankle above the level of your heart to keep swelling to a minimum.
Preventing injuries to the ankle
With extra care, you can help avoid ankle injuries.
- Wear appropriate shoes for each activity
- Throw out old, worn out shoes
- Be cautious of wet, slippery floors at work or at home
- Wear ankle braces or have your ankle taped during sport activities for increased stability
If you’ve injured your ankle and are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, come into either our Norfolk or Suffolk office for an examination and proper diagnosis. If an ankle sprain is not treated promptly with the necessary attention and care, chronic problems of pain and instability may result. AAL Podiatry Associates can recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain to ensure proper healing and a fast recovery.