Posts for tag: Sprained Ankle
An ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls or twists to the point where a ligament inside stretches beyond its normal capacity. Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 sprains happening in the United States every day. Athletes and people who work outdoors or on uneven surfaces are at a higher risk for spraining their ankle. Regular wear of high-heeled shoes is also a risk factor.
Sprained ankles are diagnosed by degree; that is, the severity of the sprain and the symptoms it produces. Grade 1 sprains are the mildest, with minimal swelling and tenderness due to a slight ligament tear. Usually, Grade 1 sprains still allow for weight to be put on the ankle. Grade 2 sprains have a more significant injury to the ligament and, while walking may still be possible, it is painful. Grade 3 sprains are diagnosed when the affected ligament has sustained a complete tear and the ankle cannot bear weight. Grade 3 sprains typically display obvious bruising and swelling around the ankle.
The grade of an ankle sprain will determine the treatment. The tried-and-true RICE method - rest, ice, compression, and elevation - is usually sufficient for Grade 1 sprains. Refraining from walking, keeping the ankle elevated for the first two days, stabilizing the ankle with a compression dressing, and applying ice to reduce swelling helps the sprain resolve within 2 to 4 weeks. Grade 2 sprains also respond well to RICE treatment, although healing typically takes longer and a firmer immobilization device, like a splint, is typically recommended. Grade 3 sprains often require similar treatment used for ankle fractures; a cast or brace may be needed and surgery may be considered for some patients.
To ensure proper healing, it is important to follow the recommendations of your podiatrist. Attempting to return to normal activity too soon could result in a repeat injury or permanent ankle instability.
Ankle sprains are fairly common and can happen while playing a sport like basketball or while out on a run, or even during every day activities like twisting your ankle while getting out of a car or walking down the sidewalk. Dr. Humaira Syed, a podiatrist serving Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ, offers both non-invasive and surgical treatment for a number of foot and ankle injuries.
Ankle Sprain Treatment in Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ
Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe depending on the force applied when you twist your ankle and whether there are any resulting tears to any of the bands of tissue that stabilize and attach to the ankle. The most common signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain include:
- Pain and tenderness when you touch or apply pressure to the injured ankle
- A popping or cracking sound at the time of the injury
- Ankle instability
- Bruising and swelling
- Limited range of motion/difficulty rotating the ankle
There are a few risk factors that can increase your risk of spraining your ankle during exercise or physical activity:
- Play sports that involve jumping, running and stopping or changing direction frequently, or playing on an uneven surface. Ankle sprains are most common in tennis, basketball, baseball, football, and soccer
- Weak ankles or previous ankle injuries
- Wearing shoes with insufficient support to the feet and ankles or don't fit (speak to your podiatrist about orthotics if you have flat feet or low arches)
- Excessive weight or lack of strength training and toning
In most cases, mild to moderate ankle sprains can be treated conservatively with a combination of rest, ice, physical therapy, medication and compression depending on the severity and symptoms. If an ankle sprain is severe and results in torn tissue or bone fracture, surgery may be an option to stabilize the ankle and ensure that it heals properly.
Find a Podiatrist in Fort Lee, Clifton, and Wayne, NJ
For more information about your treatment options for ankle sprains and other foot and ankle injuries and conditions, contact REDS Ankle & Foot Associates by calling (973) 692-1111 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Syed today.