“It’s only a sprain. Walk it off.”
Maybe you’ve heard or thought this at one point in your life, after an injury playing sports or an awkward tumble navigating an uneven surface. Ankle sprains are very common (with thousands occurring in America each day), so they’re tempting to dismiss as minor concerns.
However, you should never underestimate a sprain. As the weather finally starts to cool and more people are increasing their activity, remember to get any ankle injury evaluated by Dr. Danciger. Doing so can help you avoid the potential consequences of ankle sprains that remain untreated or heal improperly, including:
Ankle Instability. Sprains stretch and tear the ligaments that hold your ankle joint in place. If you don’t give yourself time to heal or dedicate yourself to the necessary rehab, those ligaments can’t recover their lost strength. This creates a cycle—weak ankles make future sprains more likely, which weakens them even more. The result is pain, poor balance, and wobbly ankles that feel ready to give way.
Your Sprain Could be Masking a Fracture. Simply going by pain or a physical inspection often isn’t enough to tell whether or not a bone is broken, as the symptoms can be very similar. We’ve seen many patients come in with a “bad sprain” they’ve been walking on for weeks, only to discover they’ve been walking on a broken ankle.
Early-Onset Arthritis. Arthritis is commonly associated with older adults, as years of wear and tear from everyday activities slowly impairs joint function. An injury like an ankle sprain—especially one not treated properly—can accelerate this process. You may feel fine for years (or even decades), only to find pain returning to the site of a previous injury.
Did you know that the No. 1 risk factor for an ankle sprain is whether or not you’ve had another one in the past? Failure to take care of a sprain properly is a common mistake that leads to thousands of preventable injuries and long-term consequences, so don’t make the mistake of underestimating this injury. Request an appointment with Dr. Danciger in Palm Desert, CA today by using our online contact form, or give us a call at 760-568-0108.