An ankle sprain is often the result of a sudden ankle twist, a fall or trauma that forces the ankle joint out of position. Ankle sprains most commonly occurs as a result of a sports related activity, running or walking on an uneven surface or wearing inappropriate foot wear. A previous ankle injury can weaken the area and be prone to sprains.
When an ankle is sprained, one or more of the ligaments in the ankle are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. Depending on the severity of the injury, ligaments may be stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Typically the ligaments affected are on the outside of the ankle.
Symptoms Of An Ankle Sprain
Symptoms can vary based on the severity and location of the sprain. The most common symptoms of an ankle sprain include:
The aforementioned symptoms are not unique to sprained ankle, and a diagnosis to identify the cause of these symptoms should be scheduled as soon a possible.
Chronic Ankle Instability
Chronic ankle instability is commonly caused by an ankle sprain that hasn’t healed properly. Participation in a high intensity activity or suffering from repeated ankle sprains can increase the risk of developing this condition
The most common symptom of chronic ankle instability is the feeling that the ankle is ready to give out. Walking on an uneven surface or with high heels may heighten that feeling. Pain, stiffness and tenderness are also symptoms of chronic ankle instability.
Treatment for chronic ankle stability is the same as it is for an ankle sprain.
A podiatrist will physically examine the ankle, foot and leg to evaluate the type of injury and the severity. An X-ray is ordered to rule out a bone injury. If the sprain occurred as a result of severe trauma, a CAT scan or MRI may be ordered to further evaluate the extent of injury.
Treatment For A Sprained Ankle
A mild sprain can be treated with rest, elevation, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication, and ice packs. A splint or cast may be used to provide support to the area while it is healing. The user of crutches or a cane may also be recommended to prevent further damage to the ankle.
A severely sprained (torn) ankle ligament or an ankle ligament that has healed in a loose position may require surgery to heal properly, which is usually done as a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. After surgery patients will initially need to off their feet for a couple of weeks, and then transition to a boot. Physical therapy is usually recommended after 4 to 5 weeks.
Make An Appointment With A Podiatrist
If you have symptoms consistent with an ankle sprain or similar injury, schedule an appointment with a a Board Certified Podiatrist at The Center For Musculoskeletal Disorders. It’s best to treat an ankle injury as early as possible to avoid further injury.
Our podiatrist can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, evaluation and individualized treatment options. The majority of our patients will benefit from non-operative treatment options. If surgery is recommended for a severe injury, our Podiatrist are highly experienced using minimally invasive surgical techniques.