A sprained ankle may be more serious than you think.
An ankle sprain often results from your foot suddenly twisting, turning or rolling, forcing the ankle out of position. It may be the result of a fall, a bad landing when jumping or playing sports, walking on an uneven surface, falling in a hole, and unstable or high heeled shoes. Any sudden movement can cause one or more ligaments that support the ankle to stretch or tear.
If you suspect your ankle sprain is severe, if you have difficulty walking, your first step is to call Frankel Foot & Ankle for an appointment. A severe sprain can weaken ligaments and contribute to long term ankle instability.
What is an ankle sprain?
Ligaments stabilize your joints, preventing them from moving excessively. When ankle ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion, depending on how severe the injury is, symptoms may include:
- Tender to the touch
- Pain, particularly when you put your weight on the injured foot
- Bruising or discoloration
- Restricted range of motion
- A feeling of instability in the ankle
- Popping sensations or even a sound as ankle “gives out” at time of injury
First aid for mild ankle sprain
If you can put weight on your foot and walk right after twisting your ankle, it’s fairly unlikely that you have broken something. If the ligaments have only been slightly stretched, you can usually move your foot normally again after a few days. There is no escaping the fact that even simple sprains can be very painful.
For a mild sprain, put your foot up and use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) technique along non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Within a few days you should feel improvement.
A foot and ankle specialist can diagnose the degree of ankle sprain
And Frankel Foot & Ankle, we will diagnose the severity of your ankle sprain by performing a careful examination. We test the degree of sprain by several methods
- Palpation. Your doctor will gently press around the ankle to determine which ligaments are injured.
- Range of motion. By moving your ankle in different directions, it is often possible to tell how severe the sprain is, if the ankle is very stiff and swollen it will not move much.
- If there is no broken bone, your doctor may be able to tell the severity of your ankle sprain based upon the amount of swelling, pain, and bruising.
- In the event of severe pain, your physician will order an X-ray to determine if there is a fracture present.
Left untreated, an ankle sprain can have severe implications
Returning to normal activities too soon after a sprain, or failing to treat it in the first place can result in long term ankle instability. At Frankel Foot & Ankle, we advise you to get your ankle sprain checked sooner rather than later.