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The Real Story About Ankle Sprains

ankle-sprain1

The term “sprain” refers to an injury that involves damaging a ligament. Ligaments connect bones to bones and help stabilize the joints. The severity of the injury can vary greatly. In minor sprains this can consist of damage to a few ligament fibres resulting in a small amount of pain and swelling around the ankle. In the most severe cases, rupture of the ankle ligaments and damage to the bone can occur. Severe injuries involving rupture or minor fracture usually result in severe pain, swelling, bruising and often an inability to put weight on the foot.

There are 3 main types of ankle sprains:
1. Inversion (lateral) ankle sprain – Over 90% of ankle sprains are inversion, making it the most common type of ankle sprain. It occurs when the foot is inverted too much, affecting the lateral side (i.e. outside) of the foot.
2. Eversion (medial) ankle sprain – far less common due to the strength of the medial ligaments and the mechanics of the joint. Affects the medial side (i.e. inside) of the foot.
3. High Ankle Sprain – An injury to the large ligaments above the ankle that join the two long bones of the lower leg, called the tibia and fibula.

If you think you might have sprained your ankle, its important to see your podiatrist right away to determine its severity. After your appointment, you’ll need to follow some simple but important directions to ensure proper healing. Here are a few tips for dealing with the pain and inconvenience of a sprained ankle.

R.I.C.E – Most ankle sprains can be treated using the RICE method.
Rest: stay off your ankle as much as possible.
Ice: Ice the affected foot for 20 mins at a time.
Compression: Wearing an ankle brace or compression sock to reduce swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up on a chair or pillow.
Imaging – In severe ankle sprains your podiatrist may want to make sure you haven’t fractured any bones and will want to investigate further.
Physical Therapy – Rehabilitation following an ankle sprain cannot be overemphasized. Restoring the normal mechanics and improving the stability of the ankle will allow for a return to safe activity and will decrease the risk for another sprain.
Take it Slow

If you are concerned that you might have sprained your ankle, contact your podiatrist as soon as possible. Early treatment means a better chance at successful healing. Give us a call on 9542 3491 and we can help you.

Thanks for reading

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Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491
Email: info@sutherlandpodiatry.com.au