The ankle is a complex joint that is made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons. These structures work together to provide stability and allow for smooth movement of the ankle and foot.Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries, especially among athletes. However, the injury is also common in non-athletes. Everyone, from the young to the elderly can suffer this injury through any activity that involves the ankle bending or rolling suddenly.
An ankle injury is very limiting. If you have sprained your ankle, apply first aid as soon as possible, and observe the progression of your healing in the coming days. If it gets worse, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.
What To Do If You Sprained Your Ankle
If you have suffered a sprained ankle, it is important to follow the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This means that you should definitely take a break from activities that put stress on your ankles, such as running or playing sports. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time several times a day to help reduce inflammation and swelling. Wear a compression bandage, splint, or brace to help stabilize the joint to help speed up your recovery, and keep your foot elevated above heart level to reduce swelling. You may also need to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen for pain relief.
Once the acute phase of healing has passed, which is usually after about two weeks, you can slowly start incorporating gentle exercises into your daily routine again. Start with simple range-of-motion exercises like pointing and flexing your foot. Once this becomes easy without pain, then move on to toe raises and calf raises using only your body weight resistance at first, progressively adding light weights as tolerated, while maintaining good form throughout each repetition. Exercises like swimming are also ideal at this time, because they provide low-impact cardio, while still strengthening muscles around the injured area. Using an elliptical machine with zero resistance is another option.
Be very careful not to reinjury yourself. Repeated sprained ankles can lead to ankle instability. It is also crucial not to push yourself too hard during rehabilitation – focus on quality over quantity, and always consult with a specialist before starting any new exercise program following an ankle sprain. With proper care and treatment, you should make a full recovery in no time.
Sprained Ankle Treatment in Hartford and Tolland Counties, CT and Springfield, MA
If your ankle is not getting better after at-home care, it’s time to let the experts take care of it. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Amanda Fantry, at Advanced Orthopedics New England can give you superior ankle sprain care.
This specific ankle injury is very common, and Dr. Fantry treats patients with it regularly. However, she still makes sure each patient has an individualized treatment program, for a full and lasting recovery. Once an ankle becomes injured, recurrent ankle injuries are a greater risk, and our doctors use specialized knowledge and skill to ensure this won’t be a problem.
Advanced Orthopedics New England has two orthopedic urgent care clinics in Enfield and Vernon, where we treat acute injuries. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fantry, call (860) 728-6740, or use our convenient online request form.