Is your ankle swollen, bruised, or painful? Or do you know someone suffering from ankle instability that restricts their range of motion? If yes, you are in the right place.
If you have yet to experience the pain of an ankle sprain, then rest assured that in the future, you will probably be introduced to this very common ankle injury.
Whether you are simply engaging in everyday activities like crossing the street, or participating in more strenuous sports activities like basketball, the chances of a misstep or an awkward landing are very real, and you can easily twist your ankle further than its intended range of motion.
Ankle sprains are common injuries that can cause severe discomfort if not attended to on time. Fortunately, Texas Foot & Ankle Center can help alleviate the pain and speed up your recovery. Below is a guide on ankle sprains and available treatment options.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is a minor or complete tear of the ankle’s ligaments (tough bands of tissues holding the ankle bones). It typically results from overstretching the ligaments beyond their normal range of motion, causing them to twist, roll, or turn awkwardly.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may experience mild to severe pain, swelling, or limited mobility in the affected area immediately after the sprain occurs.
If the sprain is more severe, you may also hear a pop or snap, as well as a tearing sensation when the ankle is injured. These additional symptoms may also be followed by bruising, extreme pain, inability to move the joint, inability to bear weight on the ankle, and moderate to severe instability in the joint.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a more severe sprain, then you should come to visit our Dallas, TX office right away. If your ankle is left untreated, ankle sprains can become chronic and increase your chances of it reoccurring in the future.
What Are the Different Grades of a Sprain?
There are three primary grades of ankle sprains, each causing a different level of discomfort:
- Grade 1: Resulting from slight tearing or overstretching of the ligament. It might cause mild stiffness and swelling of the ankle and pain while walking.
- Grade 2: Causing slightly higher pain, bruising, swelling, or tenderness of the affected area. It results from an incomplete tear of the ligament.
- Grade 3: Due to a complete tear of the ligament. It causes severe pain and swelling, instability of the ankle, and inability to walk.
But How Did This Happen to You? (Causes)
Ankle sprains can happen to anyone. Indeed, this type of injury does not discriminate – no matter your gender, race, or age, all it takes is for one to stand and walk to be eligible for a painful ankle sprain.
This overstretching of the ligaments in the ankle is often caused by:
- Tripping or falling in a way that twists or rolls your ankle.
- External factors, like someone else landing on your ankle.
- Landing awkwardly after jumping or pivoting.
Of course, the more active you are, the more likely you will be to sprain your ankle. However, in some cases, sprains result due to having weak ankles or other hereditary diseases that cause one to be more prone to ankle sprains.
Treatment Options for Ankle Sprains
A sprained ankle, while inconvenient, is relatively easy to treat. Here are a few self-care treatment options:
- Rest: Walking long distances and carrying heavy objects can aggravate your pain. Avoid these activities to expedite your recovery.
- Ice: This technique involves placing ice packs on the affected area for 15-20 minutes. The cold from the ice numbs the pain and prevents swelling by reducing blood flow. If you have diabetes or vascular disease, consult your physician before using this method.
- Compression: You can also reduce the swelling by compressing the affected area with an elastic band. Do not wrap too tightly, as this might affect blood circulation.
- Elevation: Another remedy for swelling is elevating your ankle to drain excess flood through gravity. Ensure the ankle is above your heart’s level.
How Can We Help You?
If you have tried the above self-care techniques and the swelling or pain is persistent, it is time to seek professional help. More severe sprains should be diagnosed and treated by a professional. When you come to visit our office and we determine that your ankle sprain is severe, we may recommend that you:
- Use a splint or cast to keep the ankle from moving.
- Engage in physical therapy to help regain the full range of motion.
Though rare, surgery is sometimes needed to correct the problem and provide relief from symptoms. Keep in mind that these instances are extremely uncommon, and we will always exhaust all conservative treatment methods available before resorting to surgery.
Regardless of what type of care you need to resolve your specific situation, our team of experts has the knowledge and tools necessary to get you back on your feet and do the things you love most.
Find Expert Care at Texas Foot & Ankle Center
If you need help with any foot or ankle care needs, all you have to do is schedule an appointment at our Texas Foot & Ankle Center today! Simply call our Dallas office at (214) 660-0777 or fill out our online contact form to have one of our trained staff members reach out to you.
Do not wait to get your ankle sprain evaluated, the quicker you do will make the difference in the length of treatment.
Doctor's Professional Building 1
1151 N. Buckner Boulevard, Suite 201
Dallas, TX 75218
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