Painful Ankle Sprain? Receive Treatment Near Howell, NJ

Athletic woman clutching her sprained ankle

The ankle is a large joint made up of three bones, the tibia and fibula in the lower leg and the talus in the foot. These bones are held in place by several strong ligaments, which provide stability to the ankle. A sprain occurs when one of these ligaments is overstretched or torn. This type of injury often results from a fall that forcefully twists the lower leg or foot, causing the ankle to roll outward.

What to Do for a Sprained Ankle

Usually, a mild to moderate ankle sprain will improve on its own after a few days of self-care. For instance, a mainstay of treatment is PRICE therapy, which involves:

  • Protection – To help keep weight off the damaged ligament as it heals, an ankle brace can be worn or a walking aid, such as a cane or crutches, can be used.
  • Rest – A few days of rest may be followed by a gradual return to activity as comfort permits.
  • Ice pack applications – A cold compress can be applied several times a day for 20 minutes at a time as needed to relieve painful swelling.
  • Compression – The affected ankle can be wrapped in an elastic bandage, which can help reduce swelling, provide support, and improve comfort.
  • Elevation – While at rest, it can be beneficial to raise the injured ankle above heart level to help fluids drain away from the damaged tissues.

If needed, an over-the-counter pain reliever can be taken as directed. Once the pain subsides, gentle exercises can help restore the range of motion in the injured ankle. For example, it can be helpful to slowly rotate the ankle.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Sometimes, an ankle sprain is accompanied by a broken bone. If left untreated, an ankle fracture can lead to chronic pain, early-onset arthritis, and instability. Therefore, if the injured ankle is very swollen, bruised, stiff, painful to walk on, or cannot support any weight, it is important to seek professional medical attention. After performing a thorough physical examination and reviewing X-rays, a physician can confirm or rule out a fracture and then suggest an appropriate treatment plan to promote proper healing. This may involve a walking boot or cast, physical therapy, or a surgical repair.

A Foot & Ankle Specialist Near Howell

If you’ve sprained your ankle, you are welcome to consult with a foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute (AOSMI). We can provide a prompt diagnosis and suggest an appropriate treatment plan to help you recover quickly and safely.

Contact AOSMI today to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at our state-of-the-art sports medicine center near Howell, NJ.