The foot and ankle are an extremely complex structure that allows us to adapt to the forces of the ground and propels us forward. The bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons work intricately together to allow for shock absorption and motion. Unfortunately, such a finely tuned system ends up overused, causing foot and ankle pain. The most common condition affecting this area is a sprained ankle.
What is a sprained ankle?
A sprained ankle occurs after an injury where the foot rolls under the ankle or leg. This stretches one or more ligaments causing pain and possibly bruising or swelling. Usually this happens while playing a sport, such as basketball where an athlete can come down from a jump and turn their ankle or land on an opponent’s foot.
There are two common types of sprained ankles:
– Inversion sprain: the ankle rolls inward, causing pain along the outer side of the ankle
– Eversion sprain: the ankle rolls too far inwards and is often accompanied by a fracture of the fibula bone.
To determine if it is just a sprained ankle or if there are other issues, the physician will need to get an x-ray of the area. Minor ankle sprains can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Severe ankle sprains may require a short leg cast or walking book for two to three weeks. Most ankle sprains do not require surgery but patients who have repeatedly sprained their ankles may need surgical repair to tighten the ligaments.
How does one recover from a sprained ankle?
Each ligament injury need rehabilitation and by completing this process, you will make yourself less likely to hurt the same ankle again. The recovery stages for an ankle sprain typically include:
– Resting the injured area
– Restoring flexibility, typically done through a physical therapy program
– Gradual return to full activity
Ankle sprains should be reviewed by a physician to rule out additional injuries, such as a fracture, but if you have pain along the inner side of the ankle, be sure to get evaluated by a doctor as this could be a more serious injury to the tendons and ligaments that support the arch of your foot.
If you have ankle pain or think you may have sprained your ankle, reach out to the specialists at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine institute for your consultation – call 732-720-2555 today!