Ankle Injuries: Ankle Sprains and Fractures
Ankle injuries can not only be painful, but they can also impede your mobility. Ankle sprains are the result of an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones, which stretches and tears one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Ankle sprains are not to be taken lightly. Over time, if left untreated, the ankle becomes weaker, which means you are likely to re-injure it in the future. Repeated sprains can also lead to arthritis.
In many cases, you might not be able to tell if you have simply sprained an ankle or actually fractured or broken it. Symptoms of ankle sprains include tenderness and swelling, as well as decreased range of motion. Sprained ankles generally have some stability, whereas fractured ankles are unable to articulate or bear any weight.
Treating a sprained ankle consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation. Physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen the weakened ligaments and tendons affected by the strain. Re-conditioning these muscles will help prevent injury in the future. Over the counter medications are usually sufficient to treat pain.
You can take steps to avoid ankle sprains! Warm up before activities, and do not forget to properly stretch. Wear appropriate shoes that offer good support, and pay attention to running or walking surfaces. If you have particularly weak ankles, be sure you are wearing appropriate footwear or braces to offer extra stability of the ankles. Lastly, pain is a warning sign. If your muscles are feeling fatigued or sore, listen to your body and take a break from your activity.
Don’t wait to treat an ankle sprain. It is important to control swelling and bruising to ensure a full receovery. Be sure to call us right away when you have injured your foot or ankle. Triad Foot Center has three convenient locations near you! To request an appointment, click here.
As featured in Burlington Magazine, August 2013.
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