Ankle Sprain: 101
An ankle sprain is an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect our bones. Ligaments are flexible, however, all it takes is a sudden twist for them to stretch too far or tear.
Ankle sprains are graded according to severity. A Grade I sprain indicates ligaments that are stretched but not torn. A Grade II sprain indicates that ligaments are partially torn. Finally, a Grade III sprain is a fully torn ligament.
Ankle sprains grade also may indicate your discomfort or mobility. People with Grade I sprains may be able to walk without pain or a limp. Those with Grade III sprains are often in such pain that they can’t walk at all. Grade II sprains usually fall somewhere in between.
You might get a sprain if your foot lands on the ground at an angle. Ankle sprains often occur during intense physical activity or sports such as basketball, volleyball, running, jumping, or football. Ankle sprains are not limited to these activities and can happen in everyday activity.
At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will diagnose your ankle sprain by starting with a physical exam. We may also take X-rays to rule out broken bones or take an MRI. An MRI will show details of the ligament damage. We have an extremity MRI here at the office that is comfortable and does not require you to lay in a tube!
If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, here are a few tips treating it before you get to our office:
- Rest the ankle – Stay off your feet! Keep weight off your ankle. If the pain is severe, you may need crutches until it goes away.
- Ice your ankle – Ice will help reduce pain and swelling. Ice your ankle for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours for two days, or until the swelling is improved. After that, ice it once a day until you have no other symptoms.
- Compress your ankle – Use an ACE bandage to keep down swelling. Start wrapping at your toes and work back towards your leg.
- Elevate your ankle – Keep your ankle elevated when you are sitting or laying down.
- Use braces or ankle stirrups – Braces will give your ankle support.
- Take anti-inflammatory painkillers – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil or Aleve will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs have side effects, like stomach upset and an increased risk of ulcers. They are best taken with food, and they should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
- Get to the St. Augustine Foot and Ankle as soon as possible!
How quickly your ankle sprain heals depends on how severe your injury is. Many people recover in four to six weeks. People heal at different rates. Your age and general health may affect the pace of your recovery.
With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you with your sprained ankle and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have sprained your ankle or are feeling pain in your ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org