Many people at some point in their lives have experienced a simple twisting of their ankle resulting in an ankle sprain. An ankle sprain is one of the most common ankle injuries that can happen to anyone in a number of ways.
What is a Sprain?
The term “sprain” refers to an injury to the ligaments surrounding your ankle. When you land on your foot and it is forced into an unnatural position, the extra stress and weight can result in excessive stretching or tearing of the ligaments. Most sprains happen when the ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward. In this situation, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched or torn. Ankles can roll too far inward too causing damage to the inside ligaments.
An ankle sprain can vary in severity depending on whether the ligaments were stretched, partially torn or completely torn. A mild sprain may cause a bit of pain and stiffness and a severe sprain could leave you with the inability to put weight on the ankle.
What are the Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?
If you have suffered an ankle sprain, it is likely that you will experience one or more of the following symptoms depending on the severity of the injury:
- Pain at the site of the tear
- A snap or popping sound
- The area will be tender to the touch
- Difficulty walking or bearing weight
- Stiffness in the ankle joint
What is the Treatment for an Ankle Sprain?
Whether your injury is mild or severe, prompt treatment is essential to maintain the health of your foot. Depending on the nature of your ankle sprain, Dr. Danciger may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- RICE – Rest, ice, compression and elevation
- Laser therapy-MLS laser therapy uses wavelengths of light that have a strong anti-inflammatory and pain reducing effect on tissues. It helps painful conditions that come with swelling or inflammation, it helps speed the healing process.
- Mild pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy to increase range of motion and promote healing
- Surgery – In severe cases, when conservative treatment options fail and ligaments need to be reconstructed, surgery is required.
Why is it Important to Treat an Ankle Sprain Quickly and Properly?
If you have suffered an ankle sprain, it is imperative that you take the appropriate measure to treat it properly. The long-term health of your ankle is at stake. An ankle sprain that is left untreated can lead to chronic ankle instability where the damaged ligaments remain consistently weak. This leaves your ankle prone to further sprains.
A more severe sprain could have caused more damage than you are aware of, such as a fracture. This type of injury left untreated could result in serious complications. Like an injury to any other part of your body, a sprain that is not taken care of will make the injury less likely to heal properly.
What Can I do to Avoid Ankle Sprains?
You can avoid ankle sprains by wearing appropriate footwear that support your feet. Towering high heels can cause severe ankle rolls and the wrong shoes worn in a sports game can put your ankles at risk for twists as well. Athletes can also take proactive measures by implementing strengthening and flexibility exercises that target the ankle.
If you have suffered an ankle sprain or are concerned about the healing of a previous sprain, come in and see Dr. Danciger for treatment. Once the nature of your injury is assessed, treatment can begin to bring your foot back to full health. Call our podiatric office today (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment directly from our homepage.