The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. A fracture is actually a break in the bone.
Injuries are the most common causes of ankle sprains and fractures. Many sprains occur during sports. Football players are particularly vulnerable ankle sprains. . Basketball players are prone to ankle sprains, and runners may develop stress fractures of the ankle or foot.
Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause ankle sprains and fractures.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle.
If you’ve hurt your ankle, it’s best to err on the side of caution. The acronym RICE can help you remember what to do:
Rest—Rest the affected area. Stay off the ankle until it can be fully evaluated. Walking, running, or playing sports on an injured ankle may make the injury worse.
Ice—Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible, and reapply it for 15–20 minutes every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease inflammation.
Compression—Wrap an elastic bandage (such as an Ace® wrap) around the affected ankle. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.
Elevation—Elevate the affected extremity on a couple of pillows; ideally, your ankle should be higher than your heart. Keeping your ankle elevated also decreases swelling.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the care and treatment of the lower extremities. If you’ve injured ankle, see a podiatrist. He or she can determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan of care to get you back in the game (or back to your everyday life) as soon as possible.
Increased pain, swelling, bruising, redness, or difficulty walking after an injury are definite signs that it’s time to see a podiatrist.
If you are experiencing pain or noticing a change in your feet you should seek medical care right away. Early care can help prevent the condition from worsening. Contact Podiatry Group of Georgia today to schedule your appointment or book you appointment online.