An ankle sprain is a common injury and often heals on its own. But if there is a severe sprain, it needs months of healing or even surgery. So, it is best to see a doctor when you have an ankle sprain. A physician will provide you with the right treatment for speedy recovery while reducing the risk of any chronic injury.
An ankle sprain is a common injury. It can happen anytime when your ankle rolls in/out with a sudden jerk. With sudden abrupt movement, your ankle joint can move out of place.
When there’s an inward ankle roll, it’s known as an eversion sprain. It can affect tendons and ligaments, along with the inner part of your ankle. On the other hand, the outward ankle roll is called the inversion sprain. It usually affects the outside ligaments of the ankle.
Both inversion and eversion sprains may cause ligaments of the ankle to tear. It leads to varying degrees of swelling and pain.
If you feel you have an ankle sprain, you need to get first aid. Never put any weight or pressure on the ankle, as it enhances the risk of broken bones or some other injuries. You need to sit in comfortably first and elevate the ankle to reduce swelling.
Even Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can be consumed to alleviate pain and swelling. If possible, wear an Ankle Therapy Wrap for supporting the joint while preventing it from moving and twisting.
You must see a doctor for an ankle sprain when you notice:
Some symptoms of an ankle sprain may vary as per the severity of the injury. It may include:
It is usually difficult to diagnose the ankle sprain based on symptoms alone. So, you must visit a doctor. Most doctors at healthcare clinics can easily diagnose ankle sprain. If the injury is serious, they may refer you to an orthopaedist or ankle surgeon.
The ankle sprain treatment often depends on the severity of the injury. The major goals of the treatment are reducing swelling and pain while promoting ligament healing and restoring the ankle’s normal function. However, for severe injuries, you need to consult a specialist.
The self-care treatment includes:
Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, etc.) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can be used for managing pain caused by an ankle sprain.
After the pain and swelling are reduced for resuming movement, a doctor will ask you to follow certain exercises for restoring the ankle’s strength, range of motion, stability and flexibility.
Proper balance and stability are crucial for retaining your ankle’s muscle movements for supporting the joint. Even crutches are useful to balance your movements.
In rare cases, your doctor may ask you to undergo surgery. This treatment is required if the ankle remains unstable or doesn’t heal even after a long period of rehabilitative exercises and physical therapy.
The surgery is done to repair a ligament that doesn’t heal. It also helps in reconstructing ankle ligament with tissue via a nearby tendon or ligament.