Ankle Sprain Treatment
Every day, urgent care facilities and emergency rooms across the nation treat ankle sprains. This is one of the most common foot injuries diagnosed and treated. Ankle sprains are a serious problem with time lost due to the injury and a long healing period, resulting in long-term disability. Ankle sprains make up about 50% of all sports injuries.
Your ankle works as a hinge between your foot and leg. The bones of the leg meet the top of the ankle joint and are held in place by ligaments. The joint is stabilized by the muscles attached to the bones of the foot. When the foot is twisted suddenly, the ligaments are stretched beyond normal limits, resulting in an ankle sprain.
Minor ankle sprains usually resolve on their own within a few days. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) therapy is often enough to ease the discomfort and heal the injury. Serious sprains may need physiotherapy with ankle sprain exercises in order to repair properly. The exercises provided in therapy help improve the coordination of muscles to reduce the risk of further injury.
Some ankle sprains are severe enough to require surgery. Injuries that do not return to normal after a few months or continue to be painful after six months will need additional care. A more extensive examination with ankle arthroscopy may be used. Ligament reconstruction surgery may be necessary in order to regain normal use of the ankle.
It is important to allow enough time for an ankle sprain to heal. Too often, the patient resumes normal activity before the ankle has completely healed. This can lead to ankle instability. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Turning the ankle often, especially on uneven surfaces or when participating in athletics
- Chronic discomfort accompanied by swelling
- Ankle pain or tenderness
- An unstable feeling in the ankle
When the ankle has sustained a sprain and is not given enough time to thoroughly heal, it is more likely to be reinjured. When this cycle is repeated, it leads to chronic ankle instability which weakens the ligaments more with each injury.
Proper diagnosis and treatment, along with adequate healing time, are necessary in order to experience the best outcome for a sprained ankle. When you have ankle pain or an ankle injury, contact the office of Dr. Stuart Mogul, and schedule an evaluation appointment with us.