You've been running on an uneven surface in the local park. Every now and then, your left ankle would twist, but you kept going. Now at home, that ankle is super sore. Is this an ankle sprain? At Foot and Ankle Center of Illinois, Dr. John Sigle and Dr. Grant Gonzalez treat numerous ankle sprains. While they are fully qualified in reconstructive surgeries, most sprains don't need surgical repair. Read about the signs of ankle sprains and how your Springfield, IL, podiatrist can help.
The anatomy of your ankle
Three bones and three ligaments make up your ankle: the talus bone, the tibia, the fibula, and the fibrous connective tissues which bind them together and allow the foot to move up and down, sideways and in a circular motion. While the ankle is made to be strong, certain stressors can fracture it, or more commonly, sprain it.
The most common kind of ankle sprain comes from sudden twisting movement from side to side. Typically sprains happen when running, stepping off a curb or step, playing basketball, or dancing. This twisting force partially or completely tears the supporting ligaments of the ankle.
Signs of sprains
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society says that 25,000 Americans sprain their ankles every day. How do you recognize a sprain? Here are the signs and symptoms:
- Tenderness to the touch
- Limited range of motion and ability to bear weight
Upon visual inspection and X-ray examination of injured ankles, orthopedic physicians and podiatrists grade sprains according to severity. Even the most severe sprains usually do not need surgical repair. However, prompt treatment of any sprain spares the patient long-term problems of ankle instability and limited mobility.
Treating ankle sprains
If you suspect an ankle sprain, call your podiatrist in his Springfield, IL, office right away. Most treatments are simple and involve common sense strategies such as:
- Ice (20 minutes on and 20 off)
- Compression with an elastic bandage to limit swelling and provide comfort and support
- Elevation on a pillow above heart level
- Stretch and do physical therapy as directed
Sometimes a more severe sprain requires a soft cast or crutches.
When you exercise, run, play tennis, and so on, wear well-supporting shoes. Be sure to warm up ahead of strenuous physical activity, and do targeted exercises to strengthen leg muscles. Keep near ideal weight. Finally, don't be sedentary during the week and then exercise super-strenuously on the weekends. Instead, incorporate a moderate amount of physical activity into your daily routine to maintain strength and flexibility and to avoid injury.
If you think you have an ankle injury or any problem with the lower extremities, please contact Foot and Ankle Center of Illinois with locations in Springfield, Decatur, Carlinville, Shelbyville, Taylorville and Sullivan, IL. You'll enjoy precise care in a friendly, patient-centered atmosphere. Call us for an appointment today.