Find out if you could have a sprained ankle and what you can do about it.
Whether you were in a car accident or someone tackled you the wrong way during a game, there are many reasons people face ankle injuries. In fact, sports are a major culprit when it comes to both foot and ankle injuries. While our Philadelphia, PA, podiatrists hope that athletes are taking the necessary precautions to keep their feet and ankles protected, you should visit us if you think you have a sprained ankle.
Common symptoms of a sprained ankle include:
- Limited range of motion
- Instability or weakness
- A popping sound (at the time of injury)
- The inability to put weight on the ankle or walk
What causes a sprained ankle?
There are many reasons people deal with ankle sprains. In fact, fast, shifting movements such as the ones we see in soccer, basketball, or football can cause athletes to roll their ankles. When the ankle rolls the outside ligaments of the ankle can overstretch or even tear, resulting in a sprain.
Sprains can be mild to severe, depending on the extent of ligament damage. Since it’s impossible to tell how much damage has occurred to the ligaments of the ankle it’s important that you turn to our foot doctors in Philadelphia for a proper evaluation. We will also run imaging tests to determine the cause and the extent of the damage so we can create an effective and individualized treatment plan.
How is an ankle sprain treated?
Most ankle sprains can be managed through a conservative approach known as the RICE method. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It’s important that you stay off the ankle and give it time to rest and heal. A podiatrist will be able to tell you when you can return to your normal activities.
To ease swelling and pain, ice the ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time 2 or 3 times a day, especially for the first three days after the injury. This can keep swelling down while also numbing the pain. Applying compression bandages to the ankle can also reduce swelling, as can elevating your foot above your heart whenever you are seated.
Certain pain relievers can help temporarily take the edge off when pain gets too intense. Your podiatrist might also recommend physical therapy or certain exercises to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the ankle to prevent chronic instability. Only in severe cases is surgery recommended to repair the damaged ligament.
The Foot & Ankle Group is committed to providing its patients with comprehensive, quality foot care. We offer locations in Philadelphia, PA, and Mount Laurel, Bordentown, and Columbus, NJ, to serve you better. If you think you might be dealing with a sprained ankle, call one of our offices today.