If you have have experienced pain, bruising and swelling on the ankle please don’t hesitate to Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is A Sprained Ankle?
Sprained Ankles occur when someone rolls, twists, or turns their ankle in an awkward or unnatural way. This sometimes stretches and tears the thick tissue bands that help hold the ankle bones together, also known as ligaments.
Ligaments help to stabilize joints in the body, which prevents excessive movement. Sprained ankles occur when outside forces push the ligaments beyond their normal range of motion. Most cases of sprained ankles involve injuring the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
Indication Of A Sprained Ankle
The symptoms of a sprained ankle may include:
- Pain: Ankle sprains typically cause pain, which can range from mild to severe, depending on the grade of the sprain. The pain is often felt on the outer side of the ankle.
- Swelling: Swelling around the ankle joint is a common symptom of a sprained ankle. The swelling may develop rapidly after the injury and can be accompanied by stiffness.
- Bruising: Bruising or discoloration around the ankle may occur due to bleeding from damaged blood vessels.
- Tenderness: The ankle may be tender to touch, especially over the injured ligament.
- Instability: Depending on the severity of the sprain, there may be a feeling of ankle instability or a sense that the ankle is giving way when walking or bearing weight.
If you suspect an ankle sprain, it is important to follow the R.I.C.E. approach (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) immediately after the injury to help reduce pain and swelling. Additionally, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation, especially for moderate to severe sprains, to rule out any fractures or other significant injuries.
Treatments For A Sprained Ankle
The treatment plan for sprained ankles depends on the seriousness of the injury itself. Although most cases of sprained ankles resolve with self-care and over-the-counter pain medications, some patients may require a medical evaluation to reveal the extent of the injury and determine the appropriate treatment.
Treatment for ankle sprains may include:
- Rest and Protection: Resting the affected ankle and avoiding activities that aggravate the pain and swelling. The use of crutches or a brace may be recommended to provide support and protect the ankle during the healing process.
- Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the ankle for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Compression: Using an elastic compression bandage or wrap around the ankle to help reduce swelling and provide support to the joint.
- Elevation: Elevating the injured ankle above the level of the heart whenever possible, especially during rest, can help reduce swelling.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain medications may be recommended to manage pain and inflammation.
- Rehabilitation Exercises: Once the acute symptoms start to subside, a healthcare professional or physical therapist may prescribe specific exercises to improve the range of motion, strength, balance, and stability of the ankle joint.
The duration of recovery for an ankle sprain depends on the severity of the sprain and individual factors. Mild sprains may resolve within a few days to a couple of weeks, while more severe sprains may take several weeks or longer to heal completely.