A sprained ankle is an injury that can occur with daily activities, such as walking, jumping, or pivoting. If your ankle rolls or twists, a sprained ankle can occur in the blink of an eye. Since this injury is so common, many people make the mistake of ignoring it, assuming that it will heal on its own.
However, sprained ankles should not be ignored. This injury requires treatment for proper healing and restored ankle stability. Continue reading to learn more about sprained ankles and what to do if you sustain this prevalent injury.
What is a Sprained Ankle?
A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn, typically because the ankle is turned, twisted, or rolled. These ligaments are sturdy bands of tissue that keep the ankle bones in place.
With a sprained ankle, you may experience pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, stiffness, and instability in the ankle.
Sprained Ankles and Ankle Instability
Leaving a sprained ankle untreated can lead to chronic ankle instability. If the torn ligaments are left to recover without proper treatment, they may heal improperly. As a result, the ligaments may become scar tissue, making the ankle weaker and less flexible than it was before.
Along with chronic instability, a sprained ankle that doesn’t heal properly can lead to poor range of motion in the ankle and difficulty walking. This can complicate your daily routine, limit your ability to exercise, and largely increase your risk of re-injury.
Treatment for a Sprained Ankle
Immediately after sustaining an ankle sprain, following the rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) method can help reduce inflammation and prevent further damage. Next, schedule an appointment with your physician for an evaluation. Moderate to severe sprained ankles may need stabilization in the form of a walking boot and even crutches to keep weight off of the ankle while it heals.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a sprained ankle, schedule a free consultation at the Regenerative Orthopedic Institute today.