A sprained ankle is more common than you might think. Know the signs.
While a sprain is not usually a serious injury it is still important to know whether this is the problem you are dealing so that you give your ankle the proper care it needs to heal and get better. Knowing the difference between a sprain and a stress fracture is important because it will change how you manage your symptoms and treat the injury. Our Tyler, TX, podiatrist Dr. James Kent is here to tell you the warning signs of a sprain and what you should do if it happens to you.
What can cause a sprain?
A sprain can happen anytime you twist or roll your ankle in an unusual and unnatural manner. When this happens it causes the ligaments within the ankle to overstretch and even tear. Everything from a sports injury to a car accident to landing awkwardly on your leg can result in a sprained ankle.
What are the symptoms?
So, how do you know if you just tweaked something in your ankle or if you truly are dealing with a sprain? The first warning sign is pain. The ankle pain may be bad enough that you can’t put any weight on the ankle. When you do try to use the ankle it will usually make the pain worse. You may also notice that the ankle is tender to the touch. There may be swelling and bruising around the affected ankle, as well.
In some instances, particularly for athletes, they may have even heard a popping or snapping sound at the moment of the injury. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important that you call our Tyler, TX, foot doctor to see if you need a proper evaluation before you begin trying to manage your symptoms on your own.
How are ankle sprains treated?
In some instances, our podiatrist may just tell you to care for your ankle on your own with simple self-care measures. Of course, if symptoms get worse or don’t seem to get better with at-home care then you should also call our office to find out what next steps you need to take. Common self-care measures include:
- Icing the ankle 2-3 times a day
- Taking painkillers when necessary
- Elevating the ankle when sitting down (will reduce inflammation)
- Resting and avoiding strenuous or high-impact activities
- Splinting or bracing the ankle
- Performing daily ankle exercises to improve mobility and reduce stiffness (also known as physical therapy)
Only in severe instances when the injury doesn’t respond to other treatment options and isn’t healing will surgery be recommended to repair the ankle ligament.
East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX, is dedicated to providing you and your family with the comprehensive foot and ankle care you need. From athletes to office warriors, we work with you and your specific needs to get you the individualized care you deserve.