Ankle sprains are a fairly common injury and one we treat often at Lansdowne Podiatry. They can also be extremely debilitating if not treated promptly and properly, leading to long term problems, such as chronic ankle instability, repeated sprains, and fractures in the foot.
How to Prevent
While not 100% avoidable, you can take steps to help prevent ankle sprains. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
Do pay attention to where you are walking, being on the lookout for uneven surfaces or changes in pavement levels
Do wear shoes that are made for the activity you are doing and that are well fitted to your foot
Don’t wear overly high or skinny heels or other shoes that will decrease ankle stability
Do warm up before playing sports or exercising
Don’t go too far too fast with a new physical activity; work your speed and endurance up gradually
Do include exercises that are specifically designed for balance, strength, and flexibility of the ankle in your fitness regimen
Do wear an ankle brace if you have weak ankles or have sprained your ankle recently or repeatedly
Medical Help for Sprains
All ankle sprains should be seen by a foot doctor as soon as possible after they occur. Even if your pain and swelling do not seem that bad, having the foot examined by the podiatrist is a must. Our board qualified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle, will want to know circumstances of the sprain when you come in for your appointment. She will examine your ankle and foot and possibly order x-rays or other advanced imaging studies to get a more complete picture of your injury. Sometimes, particularly if you have sprained your ankle previously, the symptoms will not be a good indicator of the severity of the sprain. Even a mild sprain needs immediate treatment and thorough rehabilitation to prevent a chronic weak ankle condition, which will lead to more sprains in the future. Also, other injuries, such as a fracture, may have occurred at the time of the sprain injury and long-term harm could be done if the injury goes undetected and untreated.
Treatment for a sprain will most likely include resting the ankle and keeping it elevated. Icing and compression may also be recommended. Physical therapy will help repair and strengthen the ligaments. In cases where the damage to the ligaments is severe or there have been multiple sprains, surgery may be required.
If you have twisted your ankle, schedule an appointment at our Leesburg office by calling: (571) 223-0424.