It can happen suddenly and unexpectedly when you’re out walking, running, playing tennis or other sports. You take an awkward step and roll over your foot, twisting your ankle. A minor sprain may just be an annoyance for a few days that responds well to rest. However, a severe ankle sprain can be disabling and extremely painful.
What is an ankle sprain?
The ligaments and tendons that hold the bones of the ankle together are susceptible to being overstretched or torn due to excessive stress and twisting, which can result in a sprain. This injury most often affects the outside of the ankle. When a sprain occurs in conjunction with an actual break, diagnosis becomes more complicated and it is best to enlist the expertise of a foot care specialist for complete evaluation and treatment. The symptoms of a sprain include severe swelling, pain and bruising around the ankle area and the inability to put weight on your foot.
Treatment for ankle sprains
An ankle sprain can usually be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (the RICE method), especially during the first 3 or 4 days. For severe sprains, it may be necessary to isolate and immobilize the foot with a specially designed boot. To rule out the possibility of a hairline fracture or other damage, your podiatrist will perform medical imaging such as x-rays or MRI scans.
One of the most important steps to take after the initial treatment of a severe ankle sprain is to develop a course of action with your podiatrist to slowly increase the strength and flexibility of your foot muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A comprehensive recovery plan is crucial to proper healing and to help avoid the possibility of an even more damaging injury in the future.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including ankle sprains, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.