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Ankle Sprain

What is an Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is fairly common and unfortunately always inconvenient injury! Mainly because we rely on our feet to get around, it can also take several weeks or even months to heal.
An ankle becomes “sprained” when it is accidently twisted and turned in an unnatural or awkward way. The injury itself is to the ligaments that surround the ankle. They become overstretched or torn causing pain and discomfort. These very important ligaments hold your ankle bones and joints together. Sprained ankles most commonly involve injuries to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

What to expect?
Swelling or bruising is common, in addition to pain especially when you put weight on it. It is also possible that tendons, cartilage and blood vessels may be damaged.

Who is at risk?
Ankle sprains do not discriminate. Anyone at any age can suffer a sprained ankle. Playing sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, stepping off a curb, stepping on an uneven surface, tripping and almost falling can all result in a sprained ankle.

Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain.
The main symptoms are as follows:

  1. swelling
  2. tenderness
  3. stiffness
  4. bruising
  5. pain
  6. inability to put weight on the ankle
  7. skin discoloration

It’s important to see your doctor when you think you may have sprained your ankle. Our doctors at Laurel Foot & Ankle Centerand Northern Virginia Footcan determine whether the injury is a sprain or something more severe.
Diagnosis.
Our doctors will perform a thorough physical exam to determine which ligaments have been torn. It’s possible that an x-ray may be needed to check for bone fractures, or an MRI may be ordered if a serious injury has occurred to the ankle joint.
How is an ankle sprain treated?
Early diagnosis and appropriate treating of a sprained ankle leads to a speedier recovery and can minimize pain. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home or until you can get in to be seen by one of our doctors.
ICE is your friend.
Apply ice as soon as you possible can to minimize swelling. Initially, apply every 20 to 30 minutes, three to four times per day. Then, apply ice every three to four hours for the next two days.
Prognosis.
Your doctor may tell you to stay off of your injured ankle until the pain subsides. For mild sprains, this may take a week to 10 days, while more severe sprains may take up to several weeks to heal.
Occasionally sprained ankles do require surgery. While rare, Arthroscopy and Reconstruction are potential procedures that may be required. These procedures are performed when the damage to the ligaments is severe, or when the injury doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment.
If you think your may have a Sprained Ankle, or want to learn more about preventative care or treatments, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a diagnosis and the best in recommended care.
Contact our offices Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates  and schedule an appointment today.
To learn more about Ankle Sprain, go to Heel Pain Institute of America and Laurel Foot & Ankle Center or Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates.

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Author

Francis J. Smith, D.P.M., A.B.F.A.S.
Board certified in Foot Surgery and Michael A. Klein, D.P.M. A.B.F.A.S.
Board certified in Foot Surgery​

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