About 25,000 people sprain an ankle each day in the United States. Sometimes we might think that something this common is not serious . . . not so! At Healthmark Foot and Ankle, we want the best for you. This includes careful and caring attention to any injury.
Ankle sprains, while very common, affect your ability to keep going each day. Because the sprain could be more serious than you think, you really should see a doctor as soon as possible after getting hurt
Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the anklebones of the foot. This, in turn, causes your ligaments to stretch. If your sprain is severe, the ligaments can even tear, or the ankle joint can dislocate.
Types of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are classified into three grades, or levels:
- Grade One: A grade one sprain involves some stretching of and damage to the ligament. With this type of sprain, you will experience some pain, tenderness and swelling. You might be able to put some weight on it, and will benefit from stretching exercises.
- Grade Two: A bit more serious, grade two sprains mean that some fibers, but not all, are torn in the ligament. The pain will be greater and the swelling and tenderness more pronounced with a grade two sprain. In addition, you may be fitted with an air splint and/or begin physical therapy as your sprain heals.
- Grade Three: The most serious of the three types of sprain is a grade three. This involves a complete tearing or rupture of the ligament. Your ankle will be immobilized with this injury and your physical therapy will continue longer. There is even a possibility of surgery to reconstruct the ligament.
Don’t Wait to See a Doctor When You Sprain Your Ankle
While sometimes the cure may be simple, ankle sprains can also develop into long-term problems. It is never smart to “tough it out” or try to treat your own injury. You should see a foot and ankle specialist in order to find out just how serious your injury is.
A doctor may do any or all of the following to diagnose your sprain:
- Physically examine your ankle to determine the amount of swelling, bruising and pain. This can help to decide what grade sprain you have suffered.
- Take X-rays to look at the bones in your foot and ankle to check for fractures.
- Order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to determine if you have any loose bone chips or severe damage to the joint or ligaments.
At Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates, we can provide the kind of care you need to deal with your ankle sprain. We have three Pennsylvania Board-Certified podiatrists available to diagnose and treat you. You will always find friendly faces, complete information, and the highest quality care available to you.