How to Deal with an Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries for people of all ages. Because of this, we decided to put together a little Q&A to help you be more informed in case you experience a sprain.

Q: What is an ankle sprain?

A: When the ligaments around the ankle partially or completely tear, it is considered an ankle sprain. For most people, symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising at the site of the injury.

Q: Why might I get an ankle sprain?

A: When the ankle is twisted so that the inside or outside part of the ankle rolls more than usual, it can tear ligaments. This can happen while playing sports that involve jumping (basketball or football), as well as in situations in which you may not be fully stable (e.g. while wearing high heels). Additionally, some people whose foot structure has a naturally inward or outward turning heel are more prone to twisting the ankle and possibly ending up with an ankle sprain. Finally, if you’ve had severe ankle sprain before, you may be more likely to re-injure the ankle.

Q: How bad can they be?

A: There are 3 grades given to ankle sprains. A mild sprain would be Grade 1, where there are small tears of the ligament. A moderate sprain would be Grade 2, where there are several partial tears in the ligament. A severe sprain would be Grade 3, where the ligament completely tears. Our podiatrist can grade the severity of the ankle sprain.

Q: What should I do for an ankle sprain?

A: Treatment of an ankle sprain depends on the severity of the injury. They can range from using the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for a mild sprain, to immobilization and casting for more severe sprains. When the ligament recovers, physical therapy is crucial to regaining strength and mobility. Surgery is usually not required, but our podiatrist would be able to better inform you of the appropriate treatment for you.

Q: How long does it take to get better?

A: Recovery can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.

In order to determine the right treatment, you need the right diagnosis. The best way to do that is to make an appointment to come see us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can assess your feet and ankles and find the right solutions to fight your edema at our Jonesboro, AR office.