What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is an injury that involves one or more ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are like rubber bands that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. During an ankle sprain, the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn. Ankle sprains are not the same as ankle strains, which affect muscles.
Ankle sprains may result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow. Ankle sprains can happen while playing sports, wearing the wrong shoes, or walking and running on an uneven surface. Sometimes ankle sprains happen because a person is born with weak ankles. Previous ankle or foot injuries can weaken the ankle and lead to ankle sprains.
Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain
Symptoms of ankle sprains may include pain, soreness, swelling, bruising, problems walking and stiffness in joints. Sometimes pain and swelling are not there if someone has previous ankle sprains. Instead, that person may feel wobbly and unsteady when they walk.
Diagnosis of an Ankle Sprain
While checking your ankle sprain injury, your foot and ankle doctor will ask you about your symptoms and examine your entire foot. X-rays or other advanced imaging studies may be used to help determine how bad your injury is.
Treatment for an Ankle Sprain
When you have an ankle sprain, your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- • Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
- • Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin.
- • Compression with an elastic wrap may be recommended to control swelling.
- •The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Your foot and ankle doctor may give you some special exercises to do and recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation.
Surgical Treatment for an Ankle Sprain
In serious cases, surgery may be required to fix an ankle sprain. Surgery may involve repairing the damaged ligament or ligaments. Your foot and ankle surgeon will select the surgical procedure best for you.
After surgery, completing your rehabilitation program is very important. Your foot and ankle surgeon can help you make sure that your ankle heals properly and that its function is restored. Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.
Please call 626-447-2184
(Arcadia) or 818-408-2800
(San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.