Ankle sprains are fairly common among active adults. A sprained ankle is usually caused by the overstretching or twisting of a ligament around a joint. With a mild sprain, you may not even realize it for the first few hours. Later on, some swelling, and in some cases discoloration, may become apparent. A sprain is also likely if your range of motion is reduced. At that point, basic first aid recommendations include ice, compression and elevation. The question is, how serious is it, and can I still walk on it? Generally, it’s not a good idea to put weight on a sprained ankle. Using crutches or a walker may help you get around, until you can seek medical assistance. It’s a good idea to call a podiatrist as soon as possible for a more extensive examination and diagnosis.
Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. 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.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.