Poor Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady—on his feet all day long, plodding back and forth, trying to get Eliza to say “rain” and “Spain” instead of “rine” and “spine!” If he’d tripped and hurt his ankle, Eliza would have had to learn to say ankle sprain correctly, too. However you say it, a sprained ankle can cause a lot of pain, and the words you use when it happens may not be exactly ladylike!
A Sprain Is Nothing to Sing About
It doesn’t take much to injure your ankle. It is a common sports injury, of course, but it can happen at work, at school, even around the house. All it takes is a missed stair step, uneven ground, or funny landing from a jump. The ankle rolls or bends farther than its normal range of motion and the ligaments connecting the bones in the joint are stretched too far. In severe cases, they can even tear.
You should always have an ankle injury checked out if the pain and swelling persist more than a day or two. It is always possible that you may have fractured a bone. With our 24-hour acute injury treatment policy (48 on weekends) and digital X-rays available right in our office, the staff at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates can provide you with a quick diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
Grading an Ankle Sprain
“With a little bit of luck” your sprain is only a grade one. That would involve some tenderness, swelling, and possibly microscopic tears in the fibers of the ligament. Usually, you can still bear weight on it. Treatment usually involves staying off it until it is healed and then exercising it to regain mobility and strength.
With a grade two sprain, there will be more extensive tears in the ligament and the ankle may seem unstable. Swelling and pain will be moderate, but you may not be able to move the ankle normally without discomfort. Treatment will likely involve immobilizing the joint with a splint, followed by physical therapy once it is healed.
A grade three injury involves a complete rupture of the ligament. The ankle will be very painful and unstable with a lot of swelling. Surgery may be required to reconstruct the tendon and you will need to work on range of motion and stretching exercises for a longer time before you are ready to “dance all night.”
You’ll “Grow Accustomed to” RICE Therapy
You will play a big part in your recovery. Follow our recommendations for resting, icing, using compression on the ankle, and elevating the injury. These will help reduce swelling and relieve pain in the early days. We can also let you know which pain reliever would be best in your situation and start you off with basic range-of-motion stretches when the time is right. It is important to make sure your ankle sprain heals fully and properly. Otherwise, you may develop problems with chronic ankle instability and be more prone to repeat injuries.
James W. Rust, Andrew B. Green, Dennis B. McBroom, Sona Ramdath Jr., Dr. Laura Walton, and Dr. Hilaree Milliron at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates are specialists in sports injuries and have treated countless sprained ankles over the years. Let us apply our expertise to your painful joint and put you on the road to full healing. Call one of our five offices on Florida’s East Coast and set up an appointment today.