In this video, Dr. Jeffrey Flash explains that a sprained ankle can be easy to diagnose, but sometimes difficult to treat because you can’t actually see the affected ligament without an MRI.
Dr. Flash sees lots of ankle injuries, as the condition is one of his specialties. His first approach to treatment is taking a conservative approach:
- Ice – immediately after and every 2 to 3 hours
- Wrapping with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of foot
This treatment works in about 85% of sprained ankle cases. However, some sprains may become chronic and surgery may become necessary.
If You’re Active, A Sprained Ankle Could Happen Any Time!
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.
Sprained Ankle Treatment
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 Sprain: involves stretching of the affected ligaments. Patients who suffer a grade one sprain may be limited slightly in their activities due to pain and swelling.
Grade 2 Sprain: involves 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 Sprain: involves complete tearing 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.
How are Sprained Ankles Diagnosed?
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, the 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 which will 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.
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American Foot and Leg Specialists draws patients from all over the Atlanta area. Our 4 locations in Stockbridge, Forest Park, Fayetteville, and Locust Grove, are just short drive from Midtown, Buckhead, East Point, College Park, Riverdale, Jonesboro, Irondale, McDonough, and Peachtree City. Schedule a consultation today to eliminate your foot and ankle problems.