An unexpected fall may result in an ankle sprain. It can happen from suddenly stepping off of a curb and occurs when the ligaments stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Swelling, pain, and an inability to walk are often associated with an ankle sprain and generally require prompt medical attention. A lateral ankle sprain happens when the foot rolls inward while damaging the outer ankle. It is less common to injure the inner ankle, and a syndesmotic sprain may happen during a contact sport. Sprains are categorized into three grades, based on severity. When the ligaments are mildly stretched and accompanied by minimal pain and swelling, this may be a Grade 1 sprain. A partially torn ligament may produce moderate pain, and will fall into the Grade 2 sprain. Finally, a Grade 3 sprain consists of intense pain, and the patient is unable to walk. If you have sprained your ankle, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can help you with proper treatment methods.
Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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 take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Mild to moderate bruising
- Limited mobility
- Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)
Preventing a Sprain
- Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
- Stretching before exercises and sports
- Knowing your limits
Treatment of a Sprain
Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.
If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.