Ankle Injury Sol Foot and Ankle Centers

So, you’re running on the beach, playing a sport, or you just simply stepped off a curb wrong – your ankle rolls, you start to feel the pain immediately, and a few minutes later it starts swelling up like a balloon, and if it’s serious enough you’ll even notice some bruising later on. Ankle sprains are not a pleasant experience at all and treatment should be taken seriously.

Are ankle sprains common? Ankle sprains are very common and affect one or more of the ligaments surrounding the ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. Usually, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are affected during an ankle sprain but any ligament around the ankle can be damaged. To avoid confusion, sprains are not the same as strains that affect muscles instead of ligaments. 

Some sprains can be mild, but some can be severe and extremely painful. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on how much damage is done to the ligament - stretched, partially torn, or completely torn - and how many ligaments are involved.

What happens if repetitive ankle sprains are not treated? If not treated properly, repetitive ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, a feeling of weakness, and a giving way of the ankle. In some cases, ankle sprains can simultaneously happen with an ankle fracture. If you have any doubt in your mind that you may have a fracture it’s best not to wait, make an appointment with your local foot and ankle doctor, or go to an urgent care. 

Treatment for ankle sprains should begin immediately after they happen and can range from home remedies (remember RICE? – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to being put in a walking boot. For those who are repeatedly spraining, your foot and ankle doctor may even recommend more aggressive treatment such as surgery.  


Ankle Sprains: Q&A

Q: What are ankle sprains?
A: Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch or tear. These injuries can vary in severity and are particularly common among individuals engaging in physical activities.

Q: How common are ankle sprains?
A: Ankle sprains are very common and can affect anyone, typically impacting the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, although any ankle ligament can be damaged.

Q: What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
A: Sprains involve ligaments (which connect bones), whereas strains affect muscles and tendons.

Q: How severe can ankle sprains be?
A: The severity depends on the extent of ligament damage, ranging from mild (stretched ligaments) to severe (completely torn ligaments).

Q: What happens if ankle sprains are not treated properly?
A: Untreated repetitive sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, which may cause the ankle to frequently "give way" and potentially coincide with fractures.

Q: What should you do if you suspect a fracture?
A: It's crucial not to wait if you suspect a fracture. Seek immediate medical attention from a foot and ankle doctor or visit urgent care.

Q: What are the treatments for ankle sprains?
A: Treatment should start immediately and can include the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), using a walking boot, and in recurrent cases, possibly surgery.

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