What Is An Ankle Sprain?

Plano TX residents must know that the ankle bone is crucial to your ability to stand, walk, bear weight, and conduct just about any physical activity.

This physical structure of the ankle comprised of many components. Amongst said components are ligaments. These soft tissues provide stability and hold the ankle in place. That said, when these ligaments are overly stretched or even tear, a painful, potentially serious injury known as an ankle sprain occurs.

Ankle Sprain Overview

In most cases, these injuries take place in ligaments on the ankle’s exterior. Moreover, sprain severity is measured in grades. Low grade occurrences are small, minor rips of the fibers surrounding primary tissue to major tears of the entire ligament.

Causes

You might experience such an event after stepping awkwardly after walking across an uneven surface, rolling or twisting your foot during athletic competition or some type of traumatic accident, sustaining a precipitous fall, or having someone step on your ankle.

Symptoms

Typically, sprains cause pronounced swelling, ankle pain, bruising, and tenderness to the touch. In moderate to severe instances, you may be unable to stand or walk on the injured joint. Moreover, you might experience a feeling of unsteadiness. This occurrence means the ankle is unstable.

Complications

Should you not seek prompt treatment, your sprain might worsen or chronic problems like intense ankle pain, arthritis, and irreversible ankle instability could occur.

Diagnosis

Your family doctor or orthopedic specialist will first perform a visual examination of the damaged ankle. This may involve touching the area to determine the specific ligaments involved. You then may be asked to attempt to move your ankle. These evaluations help the examining physician get a better idea of the sprain’s severity.

Furthermore, your doctor might order diagnostic imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging, MRI devices, computerized tomography, CT scans, ultrasound, or X-rays. These tools enable a healthcare provider to view internal images of the ankle’s ligaments and better discern the damage’s extent.

Potential Treatment Options

The specific therapy your doctor employs will depend on the injury’s nature. That said, most sprains can be managed without surgical intervention. Typically, treatment consists of a three stage effort.

During the first phase, focus centers around lessening associated swelling and safeguarding the ankle from further injury. Once inflammation is reduced, you will work on regaining the strength and motion lost in the injury’s wake. The final stage involves performing exercises designed to return your entire foot to full movement and motion.

Surgery is only indicated if other therapies fail. The less invasive form of surgery is arthroscopy. Surgeons insert a camera and small tools to repair minor ligament tears. The more complicated procedure is reconstruction, which involves redesigning the offending ligament with synthetic grafting materials.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

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