An ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury that most frequently happens when the ligaments on the outside ofthe ankle are stretched or torn. The severity of the sprain can impact the degree of damage as well as the type and duration of treatment. If not properly treated, ankle sprains may develop into long-term problems.
Causes of Ankle Sprain
- Injuries, especially those incurred while playing sports
- Stumbling over or tripping on uneven ground
- Unnatural twisting of or force on the ankle bones of the foot
Symptoms of Ankle Sprain
- Difficulty walking on the affected ankle's foot
- Immediate pain after a twist or injury that may also be connected with a popping sensation
Treatments for Ankle Sprain
- Applying ice to reduce swelling
- Compressive bandages to immobilize and support the injury during healing
- Elevation of the ankle
- Resting the foot and avoiding placing weight on it, sometimes with the use of crutches
- Surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments, for the most serious injuries; physical therapy is required after surgery
- Use of anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling
RICE is an acronym that can help you remember the home remedies you can use to treat your ankle sprain: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Prevention of Ankle Sprain
- Avoid walking or running on uneven surfaces; be very aware of ground-level conditions if you must (and we know you must if you live in the New Orleans area!)
- Exercising and stretching to help you maintain balance, flexibility, and strength in your foot and ankle
- Wearing shoes that fit appropriately; it's recommended that you change your athletic shoes annually and change your running shoes every 300-400 miles--the NOPA team can help you decide which shoe is best for you!
For more information on ankle sprain treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.