The majority of sprained ankles occur as a result of sports or other vigorous activities, but a sprained ankle can happen at any time, to anyone, regardless of age or activity level. Spraining an ankle occurs when the foot twists, turns, or rolls unnaturally, stretching ankle ligaments beyond their normal range of motion. When ligaments, elastic structures that provide stability for bones and joints, move abnormally, pain and inflammation follow. If the injury involves extreme force the ligaments can stretch far enough to partially or completely tear, causing instability and loose tendons.
The board-certified podiatric physicians at American Foot & Leg Specialists are experts in treating all grades of ankle sprains.
How are Ankle Sprains Diagnosed?
A sprained ankle happens in a variety of ways and involves the foot turning inwards, an inversion ankle sprain, or outwards, an eversion ankle sprain. Ankle sprains are categorized by the severity of the damage to the ankle ligaments as follows:
Grade 1 Sprains: involve a stretching of the ligaments affected. Patients who suffer a grade one sprain may be limited slightly in their activities due to pain and swelling.
Grade 2 Sprains: involve a partial tearing of the ligaments. Pain and swelling are typically more severe and the ankle has bruising and discoloration. Patients with a grade two sprain may have difficulty walking due to pain and ankle instability.
Grade 3 Sprains: involve a complete tear of the ligaments. Pain, swelling and, bruising would be severe. Patients with a grade three sprain may be unable to walk as the ankle has no stability and is likely to give way.
Sprained Ankle Treatment
The type of treatment plan for a sprained ankle is related to the severity of the injury and determined after your consultation. For grade one sprains, our physicians at American Foot & Leg Specialists recommend that patients rest, ice, compress, and elevate their injured ankle. They also prescribe a variety of physical therapy exercises to perform in order to strengthen the joint.
For grade two and grade three sprains, our physicians immobilize the ankle with a wrap or splint and prescribe a regimen of physical therapy exercises along with rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the ankle. For grade three sprains, immobilization of the joint lasts much longer, and in extreme cases surgical reconstruction of the ligaments might be required.
At American Foot & Leg Specialists we do not take your discomfort lightly. If you are suffering from a sprained or injured ankle we want you to feel better. Make an appointment today to allow us to expertly diagnose the grade of your sprain and devise a treatment plan. If you live south of Atlanta, Georgia, there is an office convenient to you. Patients from all over, including Griffin, Union City, Newnan, Forest Park, and Ellenwood give American Foot & Leg Specialists a “thumbs up.”