One of the more common accidents people experience is a sprained ankle. It can happen from stepping off a curb, walking down the stairs, hiking on a trail, or changing direction in sports.
A sprained ankle most frequently occurs when a person places their foot on something unstable or an angled surface, then transfers their body weight to that foot. This causes a misstep, the ankle can roll to the side, and the ankle is sprained. A sprain is when a ligament – which connects two bones to each other – is stretched or torn.
When the ligament is stretched or partially torn, it is a mild sprain and may take several days to heal. If the sprain is severe and the ligament is torn, it may require surgery. In fact, many people who have suffered a severe sprained ankle say that it is worse than breaking a bone due to the pain and temporary disability it causes.
What to Do for a Minor Ankle Sprain
The course of treatment is based on the severity of the sprain. If the ankle just has a twinge of pain when placing weight on it, that would be considered a mild sprain and is treated with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
Before returning to play sports again, it may be beneficial to wrap the ankle with an ace bandage or to get an ankle brace from a pharmacy in order to prevent any further re-injury. If the joint doesn’t heal properly, it can create a chronic issue such as ankle instability.
How to Handle a Moderate Sprain
If the sprain is painful when placing weight on the affected ankle and walking is difficult, see an orthopedic physician. It is best to find an orthopedist who specializes in injuries of the lower body.
The doctor will determine the extent of the injury, and they will create a plan to get you back to your normal lifestyle. You may need to use crutches for a few weeks.
What to Do for a Severely Sprained Ankle
If the sprain is severe and the ligament is torn, you may require surgery to repair it properly. For a severe sprained ankle, your orthopedic surgeon will likely also prescribe physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the ligament after it is repaired.
In some cases of severe sprains, the surgeon may take a portion of a neighboring ligament and attach it in place of the injury to foster full and proper healing.
Ankle Surgeons in North Dakota
If placing weight on your ankle causes any pain, have it checked by an orthopedist to ensure that nothing in the ankle is broken or torn. If it is injured and not treated properly and quickly, you could make the injury worse and create permanent disability in your ankle.
If you are in the Bismarck area or anywhere in North Dakota, schedule a consultation with an experienced orthopedist at The Bone & Joint Center Orthopaedic Center of Excellence. Call our caring team today at (800) 424-2663 or make an appointment online, and be sure to give your ankle the best attention and care possible.