When the ligaments that hold the ankle in place and connect the bones together become overstretched or torn, an ankle sprain may occur. They are one of the most common injuries of the ankle, and they usually happen when stepping on uneven surfaces causes the ankle to twist too much. This results in the ankle swelling and becoming bruised. You may also have difficulty walking. Because the symptoms of an ankle sprain are similar to that of a broken ankle, patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle should have it examined by a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to take an X-ray to check for broken bones, and they can check for less common injuries such as an avulsion fracture, high ankle sprain, or a lower leg fracture.
Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor 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.