Caring for a Sprained Ankle
Ankle sprains are a common injury that occurs when the ankle rolls, twists, or turns in an awkward way. When the ankle twists, it can strain, stretch or tear the ligaments that help stabilize the joint. Two of the most common types of sprains are lateral, spraining the outside of the foot, or high ankle sprains. High ankle sprains are more common in athletes, and occur when there is tearing of the ligaments that connect the tibia to the fibula.
The first step in treating a sprained ankle is to reduce inflammation and swelling through rest, applying ice, wrapping the injury in an ace bandage and elevating the ankle. Mild sprains may only take a few days of rest and ice to heal, while others may require immobilization of the ankle through a walking boot or something similar. Ankle sprains very rarely require surgery.
Frequent ankle sprains or injuries can lead to instability and damage to the ankle. Physical therapy after an injury can help strengthen the joint and avoid future injuries or stability problems.
Dr. Matthew Wagoner, a podiatrist at Triad Foot Center, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about how to identify and treat an ankle sprain.