Summer: Tis the Season for Ankle Sprains
With the official start of summer just weeks away, more of us are getting outside and making the most of the warmer weather. And Dr. Stuart Snyder and Dr. Sara Sharma of Maple Springs Foot Center, LLC are seeing a sure sign of the warmer season - ankle sprains!
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) reveals that ankle injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries in both sedentary people and athletes alike. In fact, they account for an estimated 2 million injuries each year and 20 percent of all sports injuries in the country.
What is a Sprained Ankle?
It’s described as an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle. The ligaments are bands of tough, stringy and flexible tissue that hold a joint together or connect two bones. The ligaments located on the outside of your ankle provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement and are most commonly sprained.
When the ankle is sprained, there is a tearing or stretching of one or both of these ligaments. Some sprains are worse than others and the severity is dependent on whether the ligament is just stretched, completely or partially torn, and on the number of ligaments that are affected. In the most serious cases, a piece of bone may fracture or break off, as well.
Symptoms and Treatment for a Sprained Ankle
Symptoms of ankle sprains can vary. You will usually experience pain and swelling of the ankle area, although some people who experienced prior sprains might simply feel unsteady. Bruising will likely occur, and it may be difficult or even impossible to walk.
If you do sprain your ankle, timely medical attention is crucial. Left untreated, you could develop chronic pain and a limited range of motion.
The first step is to ice the joint area immediately, keep your leg elevated, and stay off your foot as much as possible. An urgent care provider or emergency room can provide an initial diagnosis and prescribe temporary treatment.
That should be followed by an appointment with your podiatrist who has experience with treating ankle sprains and other similar conditions. The podiatrist will evaluate your injury, recommend more sophisticated diagnostic imaging if needed, and propose a treatment strategy.
Treatment can include casting or splinting, rest and elevation, compression, icing, medication (such as anti-inflammatory drugs), and physical therapy. Surgery may be also be needed to repair the damage.
With proper treatment and rehabilitation, your ankle can return to being healthy and strong. If you feel that you may have sprained your ankle, follow the steps above and then contact the office of Dr. Stuart Snyder and Dr. Sara Sharma of Maple Springs Foot Center, LLC to schedule an appointment for further care. Call us today us at (301) 762-3338 to schedule an appointment or book it online.