The ankle joint, which connects the legs to the foot, is made up of several bones and the ligaments that hold them in place. If one of the ankle ligaments is overstretched or torn, it is called a sprain. This can happen by tripping and landing wrong on the foot, causing it to roll, twist, or turn in an awkward way. Most sprains occur on the outer side of the ankle. Symptoms include varying degrees of pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising. In severe sprains, the ability to bear weight and move the ankle joint is negatively affected. If you believe you have sprained an ankle, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist as soon as possible for a thorough examination. This may include having an X-ray or other imaging test performed to determine the severity of the sprain. It can take weeks, or even months, for an ankle to heal properly. If the sprained ankle is not given the proper amount of time to heal, it can be sprained again, causing serious or even chronic problems. Scheduling regular visits to a podiatrist after a sprain for an evaluation update is strongly advised.
Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?
Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Pain at the sight of the tear
- Ankle area is tender to touch
- In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
- Skin discoloration
Preventing a Sprain
- Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
- Stretching before exercises and sports
- Knowing your limits
Treatment of a Sprain
In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.