What is an ankle sprain?
Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the
What causes ankle sprains?
An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With a mild sprain, the ankle may be tender, swollen, and stiff. But it usually feels stable, and you can walk with little pain. A more serious sprain might include bruising and tenderness around the ankle, and walking is painful. In a severe ankle sprain, the ankle is unstable and may feel "wobbly." You can't walk, because the ankle gives out and may be very painful.
What are the symptoms?
With most sprains, you feel pain right away at the site of the tear. Often the ankle starts to
In more severe sprains, you may hear and/or feel something tear, along with a pop or snap. You will probably have extreme pain at first and will not be able to walk or even put weight on your foot. Usually, the more pain and swelling you have, the more severe your ankle sprain is and the longer it will take to heal.
How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you how the injury occurred and if you have hurt your ankle before. He or she will check your foot and ankle, your lower leg, and even your knee to see if you are hurt anywhere else.
If the sprain is mild, your doctor may not order
In most cases, doctors order X-rays in children with symptoms of an ankle sprain. This is because it is important to find and treat any damage to the
How is it treated?
In many cases you can first use the PRINCE approach to treat your ankle:
Proper treatment and rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are very important for ankle sprains. If an ankle sprain does not heal right, the joint may become unstable and may develop
If your ankle is still unstable after rehab, or if the ligament damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the torn ligaments.
What kind of rehabilitation program should you follow?
Rehab exercises can begin soon after the injury. You can try to walk or put weight on your foot while using crutches if it doesn't hurt too much. Depending on your pain, you can also begin
Ask your doctor about other rehab. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal totally and may prevent further injury.
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