Ankle Sprain: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

Ankle Sprain: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

May 04, 2021

A sprained ankle is a type of injury that occurs when you roll, turn or twist your ankle in a very awkward way. Doing so can stretch or tear the ligaments that help keep the bones of your ankle together. Ligaments offer stability to your joints, preventing excess movement. Therefore, a sprained ankle occurs when your ligaments are sprained far, much beyond their range of motion. Most sprained ankles commonly involve injury to the ligaments that are outside your ankle.

Other most common sports injuries seen in the ER include:

  • Hamstring strain
  • Shin splints
  • Knee injury
  • Tennis elbow
  • Groin pull

If you have sprained your ankle, it is advisable to visit an Emergency room in Waco, and we offer emergency care for all sports injuries. Your doctor can determine how severe the damage is and recommend the best treatment option. A sprained ankle can take some time to heal, from several weeks to months.

Causes of Ankle Sprain

A sprain occurs when your ankle moves from its normal position, this can cause your ankle’s ligaments to stretch or tear partially or completely. These causes include:

  • A fall that may cause your ankle to twist
  • Landing awkwardly after pivoting or jumping
  • Exercising or working on an uneven surface
  • Another person is landing on or stepping your foot during a sports activity.
  • Participating in sports
  • Wearing an appropriate footwear

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

You may have a sprained ankle if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Ankle pain after the sprain
  • Swelling of the area around your ankle
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Discoloration of skin around your ankle
  • Inability to exert weight on the sprained ankle

Risk Factors

The factors that increase the risk of you twisting your ankle include:

  • Participation in sports. Sports activities that require a lot of jumping, twisting, or rolling the foot, such as basketball, soccer, tennis, and football, may increase the risk of you straining your ankle.
  • Uneven surfaces. Walking or running on uneven surfaces or poor fields may increase your risk of a sprained ankle.
  • Improper shoes. Shoes that do not fit well or high heels can make you twist your legs.
  • Poor physical condition. If your ankles are week or not flexible enough, you may have a high risk of twisting your ankle.
  • Prior ankle injury. If you have sprained your ankle before, the possibility of spraining it again is very high.

Prevention of ankle sprain

You can reduce the risk of twisting your ankle in the future by:

  • Avoiding wearing high heels
  • Performing stretches or strengthening exercises
  • Stopping or slowing activities when you are tired
  • Wearing quality sturdy footwear
  • Warming up before starting to exercise
  • Paying attention to the surfaces that you work on
  • Wearing ankle braces if necessary

Diagnosis and Treatment

If your ankle has sprained or twisted, it is advisable to visit sprained ankle urgent care or an er. Your doctor will diagnose the problem after conducting a thorough physical exam. The examination may involve your doctor moving your ankle in different ways to check the range of your motion. X-rays may be ordered to check the structure of your bone. MRIs may be done to have detailed information on your ankle or ligaments.

Your doctor will prescribe pain relievers if your situation is mild and recommend some home treatment such as:

  • Wrapping your ankle with elastic bandages
  • Wearing ankle braces to support it
  • Use of crutches if need be
  • Supporting your foot with pillows to reduce the swelling
  • Avoid putting weight on your ankle
  • Having enough rest
  • Applying ice on the injured to reduce the swelling

For severe cases, surgery may be required if the ligaments’ damage is so severe. There are cases of instability or if the injury has not improved after the non-surgical treatments. Surgical options include arthroscopy and reconstruction.

The type of surgery will depend on how severe the sprain is or your activity level. You will have to undergo a rehabilitation process for your recovery. There are follow-up appointments that you must adhere to and therapies to work on your motion and strengthen your ankle muscles. The rehabilitation can take weeks or months, depending on the type of surgery and your ankle sprain’s extent.

Should you go to er for a sprained ankle?

Yes, you can visit an emergency room or an urgent care to treat your sprained ankle. The doctor will diagnose and treat your injury.

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