An ankle sprain is a common injury that can affect anyone at any age. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on the level of damage to the ligaments. Although mild ankle sprains often heal on their own, treatment from a doctor should be sought out so the injury can be properly addressed.
Learn more here about ankle sprains, what causes them, and how the experts at Comprehensive Foot Specialists in Huntington, NY, frequently diagnose and treat ankle sprains to help patients live pain-free and active lives.
An ankle sprain is a very common injury because it has a wide range of causes and can occur at any age. A sprained ankle is an injury that results when the ankle rolls, twists, or turns in an unusual way. This can stretch or tear the ligaments surrounding the ankle, which holds the leg, foot, and ankle bones together.
Swelling or bruising can occur as a direct result of the ligaments tearing. Pain or discomfort in the affected area is also common following an ankle sprain. Tendons, cartilage, and blood vessels can be affected by an ankle sprain as well, since the parts of the foot work together to promote mobility. Depending on the severity of the ankle sprain, signs and symptoms may include:
The main cause of an ankle sprain is when the ankle is forced to shift out of its normal placement, resulting in one or more of the ankle’s ligaments to overstretch, moderately tear, or completely tear. Ankle sprains can happen at any time, but are most common during sports (especially those like basketball or soccer). An ankle sprain can also occur when walking on an uneven surface or from wearing improper footwear.
In order to properly diagnose an ankle sprain, a physical exam will be performed by a physician to confirm which exact ligaments in the ankle have been damaged or torn. Throughout the physical examination, the physician will rotate the ankle joint in a variety of ways to monitor its mobility.
In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI may be needed to further check for a bone fracture, ankle dislocation, or additional damage to the ankle joint and ligaments. If there is a bone fracture, the doctor will then perform a stress test, which is a special X-ray implemented with pressure applied to the joint. The stress test will help to determine if surgery is needed. An MRI is often performed if severe damage is suspected, but will usually not be performed until swelling and bruising of the area have gone down.
Depending on the degree of severity, initial treatment for an ankle sprain most often consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation in milder cases. In addition, your physician may recommend a brace, offering moderate support and compression. In a more severe sprain, your physician may recommend hospitalization and possible surgery. The severity of the sprain becomes most apparent if you are unable to stand or ambulate, swelling and pain persist for a prolonged period of time, or if you begin to observe numbness. These are all signs of a possible ankle fracture, which requires immediate attention.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, we are the experts in treating a variety of foot and ankle injuries and conditions, including ankle sprains. Our podiatrists are certified in Total Ankle Replacement (TAR), an advanced ankle procedure used to address and resolve issues with the ankle and restore patient comfort and mobility. We are committed to our patients by providing top-quality treatment and care at our office in Huntington, NY. To learn more about the additional services we provide, please contact us today.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, our expert physicians are dedicated to treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions so you can live comfortably, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!Book an Appointment