Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries seen by foot doctors. It often happens unexpectedly with the full weight of your body behind the foot as it rolls over and stretches out the tendons and ligaments that typically hold your ankle joint together. Even a minor sprain needs to be properly evaluated and treated by your foot doctor to avoid possible severe future complications.
Initial treatments for an ankle sprain include the following:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE method)—Laying down on your back and raising the ankle on a pillow while applying an ice pack will help reduce initial swelling. Taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDS will also reduce pain and inflammation. A compression wrap will keep the joint from moving and becoming more damaged.
- Immobilization—To walk on the affected foot while the ankle heals, you may need to use crutches or wear a rigid boot that immobilizes the ankle joint. The boot will also redirect pressure away from the ankle joint during weight-bearing so the ankle can heal.
- Slowly strengthen the ankle joint with physical therapy exercises—After the initial healing, you will need to reintroduce activities to avoid another injury slowly. Physical therapy exercises for the foot and ankle are essential for gradually strengthening the joint without causing damage.
Incomplete treatment of ankle sprains can lead to improper healing and a chronic loosening of the ankle joint, resulting in more injuries in the future.
A severely sprained or broken ankle may require surgery to repair. Poorly treated sprains may also lead to future surgery, so be sure to see your foot doctor to treat a current ankle sprain properly. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.