Back to basics here! Sprained ankles happen all year round. And they can put you on the sideline for a good several weeks.
If you stretch or tear ligaments, a sprained ankle can even put you out of commission for a couple months.
Not fun. So take a minute to learn the most common causes of ankle sprains, and how you can get back into action as fast as possible.
What Most Commonly Causes Ankle Sprains?
Usually, when patients come in with a sprained ankle, it happens as a result of one of these factors:
How Do You Prevent Ankle Sprains?
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you have an ankle sprain to take action.
You can take preventative steps so you don’t even experience one in the first place:
What Do You Do to Treat Ankle Sprains?
Most ankle sprains are not severe enough to warrant surgery. But, that might become necessary in your case, depending on your podiatrist’s opinion.
Your podiatrist will use a combination of X-rays, MRIs, and physical examination to determine the best treatment approach.
Following are the potential extents of injury, and the general treatment approach for each:
1. Grade 1
Here, you have mild swelling and tenderness and perhaps microscopic ligament tears. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) and better footwear will likely get you back to normal.
2. Grade 2
In this case, you have a partial ligament tear. Your ankle joint will be unusually loose. And, your ankle will have moderate tenderness and swelling.
Treatment may include wearing a boot for 2-3 weeks, RICE, use of OTC medications for pain relief, and better footwear.
3. Grade 3
In a Grade 3 ankle sprain, you have completely torn your ligament. Your ankle is severely swollen and tender. It’s also extremely painful to move. If your podiatrist manipulates your ankle, they feel great instability.
More than likely, you still won’t need surgery (but you might). You’ll need a cast or brace for 2-3 weeks. You’ll need physical therapy to get back to normal. And you’ll likely need some ongoing help from your podiatrist to identify the correct footwear and lifestyle changes to keep your ankle strong and stable.
If you experience a sprained ankle or other ankle injury, you’re smart to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. They can help you quickly get back to regular activity and protect your ankle so you don’t reinjure it in the future.
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