Posts for tag: Ankle Sprains
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.
Like adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot, are congenital, while problems like heel pain are usually the result of an injury.
Due to your child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, many symptoms associated with foot and ankle problems can go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important parents pay attention to even subtle symptoms. Thorough, regular exams of your child's feet by a podiatrist may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.
Common Foot Problems
Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed. This includes pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees. In most cases, these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention.
Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot. Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms. The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone — but is also highly preventable and treatable.
Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn. Mild ankle sprains heal with treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care, including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.
Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poorly fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming. Caught early, a child’s ingrown toenail can be treated at home, but if the pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.
Choose Proper Footwear
Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support over time. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.
If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries to the ankle, resulting from a fall or a sudden twist that forces the ligaments out of their normal position. It’s no wonder so many athletes suffer from ankle sprains every year.
The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Look for the following symptoms if you think you have sprained your ankle:
- Immediate pain at the site of the tear
- Immediate swelling
- Hearing or feeling something tear, pop or snap during the twist
- Pain and difficulty moving the ankle
- Inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle
Treating your ankle sprain
Early treatment of a sprained ankle can improve the recovery time and minimize symptoms. The following steps will reduce swelling and help alleviate pain until you can get into our Springfield office.
- Rest: Stay off your ankle as much as possible. This will ease pain as well as reduce the swelling.
- Ice: It’s critical to ice your injured ankle throughout the day for the first 24 hours or until the swelling goes down.
- Compression: Elastic wraps, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Rest with your ankle above the level of your heart to keep swelling to a minimum.
Preventing injuries to the ankle
With extra care, you can help avoid ankle injuries.
- Wear appropriate shoes for each activity
- Throw out old, worn out shoes
- Be cautious of wet, slippery floors at work or at home
- Wear ankle braces or have your ankle taped during sport activities for increased stability
If you’ve injured your ankle and are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, come into our Springfield office for an examination and proper diagnosis. If an ankle sprain is not treated promptly with the necessary attention and care, chronic problems of pain and instability may result. Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois can recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain to ensure proper healing and a fast recovery.