The ankle joint is formed by two lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and a foot bone (talus), which are held in place by three strong ligaments. An ankle sprain occurs when one or more of these ligaments are stretched beyond their limits, sometimes to the point of tearing. The most common cause is a fall that forcefully bends the ankle joint outward toward the ground.
If you have a minor ankle sprain, it may heal on its own within a few days. However, if your injured ankle is very swollen, bruised, stiff, painful to walk on, or cannot support weight, you should seek professional medical attention right away. Come to Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Riverton, Wyoming. An experienced ankle specialist can evaluate the severity of your injury, determine if a fracture is present, and suggest an appropriate treatment plan to help prevent complications, such as chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ankle instability.
How Is an Ankle Sprain Treated?
The mainstay of ankle sprain treatment is “PRICE” therapy, which involves:
- Protection – Crutches can be used to help keep weight off the injured ankle.
- Rest – Initially, it is important to minimize ankle movement, which can impede healing.
- Ice applications – To alleviate swelling and numb pain, an ice pack can be applied to the painful ankle several times a day for 20 minutes at a time.
- Compression – The injured ankle can be wrapped in an elastic bandage to provide support and help reduce swelling.
- Elevation – When possible, it can be helpful to raise the ankle above heart level to allow fluid to drain away from the damaged tissues.
You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication to further reduce the swelling. If you have a severe ankle sprain, we may suggest that you wear a cast or boot for several weeks to protect your injury and help keep the damaged ligament in place as it heals. Once your pain subsides, you can start performing gentle exercises, such as slowly rotating your ankle, to help restore your range of motion.
Get Started on the Road to Healing
If you have an ankle sprain, contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers today to request an appointment with a foot doctor at our satellite clinic in Riverton, WY.