Sprained ankles can happen to anyone at nearly any time, whether you are a professional basketball player landing awkwardly on your foot after a big dunk or you misstep on an uneven sidewalk while you are walking your favorite four-legged furry friend. Sprains in the ankle occur when the ligaments, usually on the outside of the foot, are stretched, partially or completely torn.
There are three bands that comprise the outside ligament (lateral ligament) of the ankle (anterior talo-fibular ligament, calcaneo-fibular ligament and posterior talo-fibular ligament).
When any of these bands are affected by a jolting or irregular twist or bend, it can result in a painful sprain of the ankle.
- Difficulty walking
- Tenderness to the touch
Depending on the severity of the sprain, patients may not experience all or most of these symptoms, however, if you experience a bad strain or twist to your ankle, it is always a good idea to head over to your local Dallas podiatrist for a comprehensive foot examination.
What To Do After You Sprain Your Ankle
The effects of a sprained ankle can be lasting and increase rapidly if not treated immediately. Our ankles are two major joints that support the pillars of our bodies. An untreated or ineffective sprained ankle treatment, can lead to instability, weak ankles and weak legs. The first thing you should do after spraining your ankle is apply the RICE method to the affected ankle.
Rest – Adding pressure to a sprained ankle can further injure the compromised ligament or cause a new injury in the foot or ankle. Resting allows the body’s natural healing process to take over and begin repairing the damaged ligament.
Ice – Icing your sprained ankle will help temporarily alleviate some pain and reduce any swelling that may occur.
Compression – Compressing the ankle will prevent further swelling from happening. The compression will also stabilize the ankle before you receive your boot, cast or crutches.
Elevation – This is another great way to reduce blood flow to the affected ankle and in turn, reduce the amount of swelling your sprained ankle experiences.
In addition to the RICE method of injury rehabilitation, your DeSoto podiatrist will provide additional recovery and pain management support for your sprained ankle. Podiatric steps that will be taken to assist with a sprained ankle are as follows:
- Immobilization – Your Sunnyvale podiatrist will provide you with a walking boot, ankle cast and/or crutches to prevent further injury to the sprained ankle due to overexertion or accidents.
- Early physical therapy – Dedicated physical therapy immediately following your ankle sprain will ensure a full recovery of your ankle’s range of motion and strength.
- Medication – Ibuprofen will help reduce swelling and manage some of the pain associated with your sprained ankle. If further pain management is required, your podiatrist in Dallas can prescribe a more appropriate medication.
- Surgery – If ligaments are severely damaged and unable to otherwise recover properly and surgery fits with the patient’s lifestyle and needs, surgery can be conducted to repair torn ligaments.