Ankle sprains are a very common problem seen and treated by podiatrists. Sprains happen when the ligaments which support the ankle are twisted or stretched in an uncontrolled or excessive manner. Sprains cause pain, swelling, stiffness and gait dysfunction. Initial treatment should include rest, ice, compression (ace bandage) and elevation. If this does not improve symptoms, it is best to be evaluated by a podiatrist. An x-ray can be taken to make sure no bones are fractured. Tests can also be performed to determine if a ligament was torn. Depending on the severity of the injury, an ankle sprain may require a splint which can be worn in a shoe, a walking cast or even crutches for non-weight bearing. Worst case scenario is if there is a severe tear of a ligament requiring surgery.
Physical therapy can be used to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and allow it to be more stable after a sprain.
Our office is equipped with almost all aspects of treatment for ankle sprains. X-rays, splints, walking boots, crutches, some forms of physical therapy as available at your visit. Ankle sprains are a common injury that can occur during physical activity or from everyday activities. They can be painful and limit your ability to walk and perform daily tasks. Proper management and treatment of ankle sprains are important to prevent long-term complications and promote healing.
Causes of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle are stretched or torn. This can occur from:
- Twisting or rolling the ankle during physical activity
- Landing on the foot awkwardly
- Tripping or falling
Symptoms of Ankle Sprains
Symptoms of ankle sprains may include:
- Pain or tenderness in the ankle
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty bearing weight on the affected ankle
Treatment and Management of Ankle Sprains
Treatment for ankle sprains depends on the severity of the injury. Mild ankle sprains may only require rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) and over-the-counter pain medications. More severe ankle sprains may require immobilization with a brace, cast, or walking boot and physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility in the ankle.
Preventing Ankle Sprains
Preventing ankle sprains is possible by taking the following precautions:
- Wearing appropriate footwear with good support and traction
- Performing exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in the ankle
- Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity
- Avoiding uneven surfaces or obstacles while walking or running
If you suspect you have an ankle sprain or are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, it is important to seek the care and treatment of Team AFFC who specializes in foot and ankle care. Proper management and treatment of ankle sprains are important to promote healing and prevent long-term complications.