Ankle sprains aren’t fun! Of all the foot and ankle injuries, ankle sprains are by far the most common. It occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are overstretched or even torn. A sprained ankle can cause a certain level of discomfort and long-term complications if left untreated.
Tens of thousands of Americans sprain an ankle every year. Whether it’s the occasional slip of the foot, an ill-fitted shoe or twisting of the foot due to playing sports, an ankle sprain can happen to anyone at any time.
Grades of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are categorized by degree of severity as follows:
- Grade one (mild): This is the most common form of sprain where the affected ligaments are stretched but not torn. There is no loss of ankle function.
- Grade two (moderate): The affected ligaments are partially torn with some loss of ankle function resulting in limited mobility.
- Grade Three (Severe): This is the most severe form of sprain where the affected ligaments are completely torn. This completely limits your mobility.
Treating Your Sprained Ankle
Timely treatment and care can help prevent long-lasting pain and instability of the ankle. As soon as the injury occurs, follow the RICE protocol to relieve pain and start the healing process:
- Rest your ankle by limiting your movement. Do not bear weight on an injured foot, use crutches if necessary.
- Ice the affected area to reduce swelling and inflammation.Use an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time. The ice helps to numb the pain and reduces the level of swelling.
- Compression in the form of an ankle brace or splint helps reduce the swelling and provides the much-needed support to the ankle for healing.
- Elevate or raise the ankle when lying down. Use bed pillows for the lift and comfort.
Selecting Your Podiatrist
Ankle sprains can haunt you if not correctly rehabilitated or if left untreated. The best way to address ankle sprains is to see a doctor who specializes in foot and ankle care.
Whether you have a sprained ankle or suffer from any other foot and ankle condition, consulting a board-certified podiatrist is your first step. Contact Paul S. DeMarco, DPM by calling (609) 927-4894 to schedule an appointment today. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco and his trained staff can help you get the best care and treatment for your sprained ankle.