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Q&A on Ankle Sprains

Question 1: What is an Ankle Sprain?

An Ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle. Most commonly one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle are injured.

Question 2: What is a ligament?

Ligaments are bands of tissue kind of like a rubber band. These ligaments connect one bone to another bone and assist with joint stability. For the ankle, these ligaments provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement.

Question 3: How many ligaments does the ankle have?

On the outside of the ankle there are 3 primary ligaments, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), calcaneal fibular ligament (CFL) and Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTFL). On the inside of the ankle there are 4 primary ligaments known together as the deltoid ligament.

Question 4: What causes an ankle sprain?

Sprained ankles usually result from a fall, sudden twist or from direct injury. They commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoe gear, running or even walking on uneven surfaces.

Question 5: What are the common symptoms of an ankle sprain

The most common symptoms of ankle sprains are but not limited to:

  1. Pain or soreness
  2. Bruising
  3. Swelling
  4. Increased heat to the area or redness
  5. Inability to walk or bear weight
  6. Stiffness to the ankle joint

It is important to note that these symptoms may vary in intensity depending on how badly the ankle was injured. Even if there is no pain o swelling with your sprained ankle, treatment is crucial.

Question 6: How are ankle sprains treated?

Non-Surgical Treatment: Most ankle sprains can be treated conservatively but rehabilitation needs to be quick and thorough. Treatment options usually include multiple therapies including but not limited to:

  1. Rest: Give your ankle a brake and stay off of it
  2. Ice: Ice reduces swelling and pain
  3. Compression: Controls swelling and helps support the ankle
  4. Elevation: Reduces swelling
  5. Protection: Medical grade brace of offloading boot
  6. Physical Therapy: Promote healing and increase range of motion
  7. Medications: Reduce pain and inflammation
  8. Laser Therapy: Increase blood flow to the area

In more severe cases, surgery may be required to adequately treat an ankle sprain.

Prompt treatment by your foot and ankle specialist is critical to treat your ankle sprain appropriately and reduce your risk of long-term ankle issues.

Did you know 55-72% of patients who sustain a lateral ankle sprain suffer residual symptoms.

Let the expert team of foot and ankle surgeons at Kalmar Family Podiatry in Huntington, New York, check your ankle to see if it’s sprained or whether there’s any other cause for the pain and swelling, and prescribe an effective treatment program to get you back on your feet. Call Kalmar Family Podiatry today, or book an appointment online.

Author
Garrett Kalmar, DPM, AACFAS

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