Even minor accidents and falls can cause a sprained ankle. Know the signs.
Strains, sprains and breaks…. these are all common ankle problems and sometimes it isn’t easy to tell them apart. Perhaps you stepped off the curb wrong, twisted your ankle while going down the steps or experienced a sports-related injury. Either way, it’s important to be able to distinguish a sprain from other issues so that you know when to turn to our West Orange, NJ, podiatrists for immediate care.
Common signs of a sprained ankle include,
- Immediate pain
- Swelling and tenderness
- Bruising or discoloration
- Pain that intensifies when putting weight on the foot
- Being unable to walk
Dealing with any of these symptoms? If so, it’s time to visit our podiatrists right here in West Orange, NJ, for an evaluation. Leaving a sprained ankle untreated can lead to long-term pain, weakness and instability.
How is a sprained ankle diagnosed?
First, a podiatrist will examine the ankle, moving it in a variety of positions to check mobility and range of motion. This can also help us determine which ligaments are damaged. If your symptoms are indicative of something more serious such as a fracture, then we may perform an X-ray. Imaging tests can also determine the extent of the damage, as well as rule out certain injuries and problems.
How is a sprained ankle treated?
It’s important that you rest and stay off your ankle as much as possible while it heals. The healing process will vary depending on the extent of the injury. If the sprain is mild you may be able to treat the problem on your own through,
- Bracing or wrapping the ankle
- Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication
- Icing the ankle
- Elevating the foot (to reduce swelling)
- Limiting movement and getting ample rest
A mild sprain can take anywhere from 10 days to 14 days to heal, while more severe sprains may take several weeks. More serious sprains may require a protective boot and crutches to ensure that you stay off the ankle completely until it has fully healed. Sometimes physical therapy and rehabilitation is recommended to help restrengthen the muscles and ligaments of the foot and ankle to prevent future injuries.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a sprained ankle right here in West Orange, NJ, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist. Call Foot Health Center at (973) 731-1266. Telemedicine appointments are also available. Contact our office for more details.