By Thomas Neuman D.P.M
May 24, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle pain   Ankle Sprain  

Ankle SprainA hard twist, a snapping sound and sharp pain--it all happened in a flash as you were out for your afternoon run. Now you have a swollen ankle. At Complete Foot and Ankle Care in Lancaster and Northridge, CA, podiatrist Dr. Thomas Neuman sees many ankle sprains at all levels of severity. Is your ankle sprained? Here are the signs and symptoms that confirm it.

What is an ankle sprain?

It's a common injury of the ligaments at the sides of the ankle. Happening to the athletic and non-athletic alike, this stretching and tearing of the connective tissue in the ankle produces a limited range of motion, pain and many times, inability to bear weight on the affected foot.

Other symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Instability of the ankle (wobbling)
  • Extreme tenderness

On a physical exam, your podiatrist will palpate the injured ankle, note its range of motion and your ability to bear weight and take X-rays and other imaging as needed. These tests determine the extent of the stretching and tearing. He'll advise you as to the degree of the sprain and what interventions will help you achieve optimal healing.

Treating an ankle sprain

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says most ankle sprains respond well to a familiar first aid protocol:

  • Rest (get off your feet)
  • Ice (to reduce swelling)
  • Compression (with an elastic bandage to ease pain and provide support)
  • Elevation (above the level of the heart)

In addition, Dr. Neuman may recommend physical therapy, stretching exercises, balance and agility training and just simply moving the ankle gently to reduce stiffness and swelling.

Over the counter ibuprofen helps relieve swelling and pain, and depending on the degree of injury, Dr. Neuman may advise support with a soft cast or boot and use of crutches. Surgery may be necessary when the injured ankle is particularly unstable, and the doctor believes tendons and bones could sustain damage.

Preventing an ankle sprain

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and sometimes ankle injuries are unavoidable. However, for day to day strength and stability, your Lancaster and Northridge, CA, podiatrist recommends that young and old alike should wear well-fitting, supportive footwear. Also, staying active and in good condition keeps ankles sturdy. In other words, if you are in the habit of exercising and being on your feet, this lifestyle strengthens your feet and ankles, making them less prone to injuries.

Take care of your ankles

They keep you moving. Do all you can to prevent sprains, and if you do suffer one, contact Complete Foot and Ankle Care. You'll be well underway to healing with treatment from board-certified foot surgeon, Dr. Thomas Neuman. Call today for an appointment. For the Northridge office, phone (818) 885-8400, and for the Lancaster location, call (661) 945-3628.