Don't Ignore Ankle Sprains
One of the most frequent injuries seen by foot and ankle surgeons is an improperly self-treated ankle sprain.
Ankle sprains commonly result from twisting the foot while walking or running on uneven surfaces or during physical activity. When the ankle is sprained, the ligaments, which hold the ankle bones and joint together,
are stretched, partially torn or ruptured, depending on the injury's severity. Most ankle sprains are lateral-outside of the ankle joint-and symptoms can range from tenderness, swelling and discoloration to being unable to walk because the ankle joint is too unstable.
If you experience an ankle sprain, immediately provide the RICE
treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce swelling and pain. In more severe cases, a trip to the Emergency Department or our office for immediate treatment may be necessary.
For most ankle sprains, we recommend keeping weight off the ankle and using an elastic bandage, brace, splint or short cast to eliminate motion within the joint. It can take three to eight weeks for an ankle sprain to heal and longer in severe cases. We also recommend a
follow-up appointment with our office to ensure the ankle is healing properly.
Repeated ankle sprains or severe injuries may eventually need surgery to tighten the ligaments around the ankle to improve stability. Ankle strengthening exercises, ankle supports and taping of the joint are also recommended to help prevent repeat sprains.