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.
How your Boise podiatrist can help treat a sprained ankle
You love hiking and outdoor activities, but sometimes it’s easy to hurt yourself. One of the most common injuries among hikers is a sprained ankle; easy to get if you are walking on uneven ground. Even a small rock on the trail can cause your foot to bend out of position, making your tendons and ligaments stretch and possibly tear.
These tendons and ligaments are what hold your muscles and bones together and keep your ankle in normal motion. When you strain your tendons and ligaments, the result is a painful, debilitating sprained ankle. If you sprain your ankle, it’s time to call in the experts, your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, Idaho.
Your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates want you to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle, such as:
- Pain when you try to put weight on your foot
- Bruising and swelling on and around your ankle
- Restricted movement and inadequate range-of-motion of your ankle
- A popping sound when you twist your ankle
You can try some simple home remedies if you think you might have sprained your ankle. Your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates suggest you try to:
- Give your ankle a rest and keep weight off of it
- Put ice on your ankle every 2 to 3 hours
- Wrap a compression bandage around your ankle to decrease swelling
- Elevate your ankle to help drain excess fluid
If you have a bad sprain, the best thing you can do is visit your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates. They can try several effective treatments to alleviate your pain and help you heal, such as:
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter pain medication
- Using splints, crutches or other helpful supports when you walk
- Stretches and exercises to build strength and increase range of motion
- Wearing a cast or walking boot to keep your ankle stable
- Surgery to repair torn ligaments or tendons
To avoid ankle sprains, there are a few things you should do that can prevent potential injury. You should always wear supportive shoes or boots, especially if you are hiking or walking on uneven ground, and be sure to wear the appropriate footwear if you are participating in a sport. It’s always helpful if you are in good condition before attempting a new activity.
If you think you might have a sprained ankle, don’t worry. You don’t have to suffer alone. Just call your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates with offices in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, Idaho. They are ready to help you heal your sprained ankle and feel better, so call today!