Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted unnaturally, causing injury to the ligaments. This frequently happens when stepping onto uneven ground, or when running or playing a sport like basketball or soccer.
Ankle sprains can be mild or severe depending on how badly and how many of the ligaments were damaged. With a mild sprain, you will usually be able to bear weight on the foot and there will be minimal redness and swelling. The ankle joint will feel stable. With a more serious sprain, you will usually see a moderate amount of redness, swelling and bruising and you likely will not be able to bear much weight.
What we can do to help you with your ankle pain
If your sprain is painful and doesn’t seem to be improving, we would recommend that we see you as a patient.
Initially, we will perform a complete history and physical examination of your ankle to determine the cause and the degree of injury. We will assess your ankle joint to look for any signs of instability that may need to be addressed. We will take digital x-rays to assess the ankle joint to look for subtle signs of bone or cartilage injury.
For most sprains, we would recommend to follow the RICE treatment plan: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If there is any degree of instability of the ankle joint, we often will utilize various ankle braces to help stabilize the joint. It may even be necessary to use a walking boot for a period of time to provide even more immobilization. Prescription anti-inflammatory medications may also be needed to help with pain and swelling.
If you have chronic sprains, it may be helpful for us to fit you with the proper arch support or prescription orthotics. If your symptoms are mild, we may be able to use a pre-made arch support to control any abnormal flattening of your arch. We carry arch supports in our office that are typically much better than what you will find in the store. Some cases of sprains are more severe and may require the use of a prescription orthotic. This is a custom-made arch support that is made from a plaster impression or digital scan of your foot and arch. Unlike pre-made arch supports, however, an orthotic completely controls abnormal pronation, stabilizes the foot and ankle and most effectively removes strain to the joints. Learn more about custom orthotics.
Surgical intervention is sometimes needed if you have chronic ankle sprains. Newer procedures such as ankle arthroscopy allow us to perform an ankle stabilization procedure through tiny incisions in your skin allowing for much quicker recovery.
The doctors at Council Bluffs Foot & Ankle Care are experts in the treatment of ankle sprains. If you have ankle pain, call us today to make an appointment.