Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting force on the ankle and foot bones, which may result in stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The severity of the sprain can impact the degree of damage as well as the type and duration of treatment. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into long-term problems.
Primary symptoms of ankle sprains are pain following a twisting injury with swelling, and bruising. In some cases a fracture of the bones may occur. If you are experiencing significant pain, swelling and bruising an x-ray should be taken to make sure there is no damage to the bones.
Treatment includes resting and elevating the ankle and applying ice to reduce swelling. Compressive bandages also may be used to immobilize and support the injury during healing. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, or when associated bone damage or fracture occurs, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments. Foot and Ankle Center providers are highly trained to evaluate ankle injuries and recommend the best treatment. When surgery is needed we can provide the most advanced arthroscopic treatments to get you back to full speed in the least amount of time.
To prevent ankle sprains, try to maintain strength, balance, and flexibility in the foot and ankle through exercising, stretching, and wearing well-fitted shoes. If you experience repeated sprains we can help guide you through a regimen to strengthen your ankle and prevent further injury.