Have you ever had an ankle sprain? If you have, you well remember the pain, bruising, and limited ability to walk. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons says that ankle sprains number in the millions annually in the United States alone. Read here about the symptoms of this common injury and also how your West Orange, NJ, podiatrists at the Foot Health Center can help.
What is an ankle sprain?
It's a tearing or separation of the three fibrous ligaments which connect bone to bone. It happens in response to a sudden twisting motion if someone runs on an uneven surface, steps into a hole or simply wears shoes that don't properly support the ankle.
- Limited range of motion and ability to walk and bear weight
Diagnosis and treatment of an ankle sprain
Your experienced podiatrists at the Foot Health Center in West Orange have diagnosed and treated many ankle sprains. They listen carefully to patient symptoms, visually inspect the ankle and test range of motion. An X-ray or other sophisticated imaging pinpoints the injured area and rules out fracture.
Treatment for ankle sprains depends upon the extent of the injury and could include:
- Rest (staying off your feet because continued walking produces additional injury)
- Ice to reduce swelling and pain
- Compression with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of the foot
- A boot or soft cast to provide support
- Crutches to avoid weight bearing on the limb
- Over the counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain
- Physical therapy to improve range of motion and to strengthen the extremity to prevent further injury
If necessary, your foot doctors can perform surgery to stabilize the ankle and repair severely compromised ligaments. Follow-up care with physical therapy is very important after surgery to return the ankle to full function, stability and strength.
Trust the experts
If you've injured your ankle, don't guess at the extent of the problem or at how to treat it. Get expert and compassionate care from the podiatrists at Foot Health Center in West Orange, NJ. We are open Monday through Friday and have availability for emergencies. Call (973) 731-1266.