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.
Find out how to care for your ankle after a sports injury to promote faster healing.
Did you know that about 28,000 ankle injuries happen everyday in the United States? A large percentage of these injuries are due to sports. So what should you do if you sprain your ankle while on the field? Besides seeing your Lake Ridge, VA podiatrist Dr. Douglas Stabile for treatment here are some other tips to follow to ensure that your ankle heals as quickly as possible.
Take your condition seriously
You may have heard people tell you to “just walk it off” after experiencing a sprain, but this is the last thing you want to do. While an ankle sprain might not sound like a serious issue it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ankle sprains too often go untreated or mistreated because they are assumed to be innocuous. So what happens if you leave an ankle sprain untreated? You may have long-term ankle issues that include pain, discomfort, re-injury, early-onset arthritis and even disability.
Choose pain relievers wisely
When you get off the field and immediately off your ankle your first thought may be to take a pain medication to alleviate your symptoms. While there is nothing wrong with taking an over-the-counter medication you won’t want to immediately go for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen. Instead, start with acetaminophen to handle your pain and give your injury 48 hours before taking NSAIDS. Why? Because this will give your body time to start its own natural inflammatory process to speed up healing.
Apply the RICE method right away
Instead of trying to “walk it off” immediately get off your foot and elevate it above the heart, which will keep swelling down. Wrap the injured foot in a compression bandage and apply an ice pack for about 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
See your Lake Ridge podiatrist
The most important thing you can do after an ankle injury is to see your Lake Ridge foot doctor Dr. Stabile right away for a proper diagnosis. You may only think you’ve strained or sprained your ankle, but you could be dealing with an even more serious issue. Before you start self-diagnosing and treating your condition, visit us first so we can help you come up with a treatment plan that really works.
If you’ve experienced an ankle or foot injury, whether it’s sports-related or not, your Lake Ridge podiatrist Dr. Stabile is here to help. Call Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia to schedule an appointment.