A sprained ankle occurs when you twist, roll, or turn your ankle, resulting in a stretch or tear to the ligament. Sprains have three different degrees of severity: mild, moderate, and severe.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips for the perfect ankle sprain recovery!
See A Doctor As Soon As Possible
The secret to a perfect recovery is consulting an expert. Contact a podiatrist immediately if you suspect that you have sprained your ankle. Podiatrists, otherwise known as foot and ankle doctors, can help diagnose and care for different foot and ankle problems.
Common signs of a sprained ankle include pain, swelling, or tenderness in the area, a popping sound when you get the injury, and a limited range of movement. In some cases, sprains may respond well to at-home treatments and over-the-counter medications.
However, to avoid worsening symptoms and complications, it’s always best to see an ankle specialist for a proper medical evaluation. These evaluations are vital to perfect treatment and recovery.
Your doctor will examine your ankle, foot, and lower leg. Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may suggest one or more imaging scans. These include:
- CT scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Mild sprains recover after several days, but severe cases can take up to 12 weeks. Your foot and ankle doctor will talk to you about the severity of your case and how long your recovery might take.
Here are some treatments your ankle specialist may suggest:
1. RICE Method
Your doctor might recommend the RICE method for the first two to three days after the injury. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Changing your usual routine can help your injury recovery. Lessen or avoid exercises and activities that cause discomfort, swelling, or pain to the injured area.
Apply an ice pack to the sprained area immediately for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat this process every two to three hours. However, avoid applying ice for too long to avoid damaging the tissues.
Talk to your doctor before applying ice if you have diabetes, vascular disease, or decreased sensation.
Applying continuous pressure to the ankle with an elastic bandage can help reduce swelling. Don’t wrap the injured area too tightly to avoid cutting off circulation.
Elevating the injured area above your heart level can reduce swelling, as well. Do this especially at night.
Physical therapy can help restore your ankle’s stability, strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Your ankle specialist may recommend it after your swelling and pain lessens. A physical therapist will create an exercise regimen for you to help you increase balance and stability. Balance exercises, such as standing on one leg, also help prevent sprains from recurring.
Ankle sprains rarely require surgical intervention. Your ankle specialist might recommend surgery if your ankle remains unstable even after conservative treatments.
Surgeries help repair and reconstruct ligaments using tissue from a surrounding ligament or tendon. Recovery time for surgeries of completely torn ligaments is the longest. For best results, your foot and ankle doctor will guide you through post-operative care.
Ankle Sprain Treatment and Recovery in South Texas
Improper treatment for an ankle sprain, returning to your activities too soon, or repeatedly spraining your ankle might delay your recovery or worse, create new problems. Prevent your condition from worsening by consulting an ankle specialist immediately.
Visit the Podiatry Group of South Texas if you are experiencing symptoms from an ankle sprain. We have offices at 14 different locations in Southern Texas for your convenience. Our friendly experts provide top-notch medical care and will ensure that you understand your treatment process.
Call the location nearest you for inquiries or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!