Sprained Ankle

Ligaments are strong, elastic bands that are attached to bones and hold the joints together. An ankle sprain occurs when one of these ligaments is injured due to excessive stretching. It is possible for the ligament to have a minor tear, or even be torn apart completely.

Ankle sprains and knee sprains are the most common injury. A high ankle sprain will swell rapidly and can be very painful. Generally, more pain means a more severe injury. The severity of the injury will determine the method of treatment. Minor sprains will usually go away in a day or two, but more severe sprains will need to be treated by a doctor.

Picture of a Sprained Ankle

colorado foot institute sprained ankle

Sprained Ankle Symptoms

Sprained ankles will generally exhibit one or all of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling and/or bruising of the ankle
  • Restricted mobility and range of motion
  • Pain that increases when bearing weight
  • Popping noise heard when the injury occurs

If you are experiencing swelling and aching pain it is recommended that you call a podiatrist. Self care treatments may be enough to heal a minor ankle sprain, but a doctor should be consulted to fully evaluate the situation. If the symptoms are bad, you may have more than just a severe ankle sprain, the ankle may be broken. If this is the case, a podiatrist will be able to correct the injury before further damage is done.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

The method of ankle sprain treatment will depend on how severe the injury is. In many cases, common pain relievers like Aleve or ibuprofen will be enough to alleviate any symptoms of pain. Once the swelling goes down, a few days after the injury, you will need to begin ankle sprain rehab. Ankle sprain rehabilitation can be done at home and is very simple, but may cause slight discomfort or mild pain. Treatment for sprained ankle may also include a doctor-prescribed physical therapy schedule. Dr. Mechanik will evaluate your injury’s progression and, based on that evaluation and the level of pain experienced, provide a therapy regiment tailored to your injury. This therapy will restore the ankle’s strength, range of motion, balance, and flexibility. Stability ad balance training is very important, and plays a critical role in retraining the muscles of the ankle to work together and support the joint. Therapy sessions may include various motion and balance exercises, such as standing on one ankle or other exercises used to treat a sprained ankle.

If the sprained ankle was the result of a sport or other physical activity, Dr. Mechanik will talk to you about a schedule when it is safe to resume your normal physical activities. Sometimes, a wrap or ankle brace may be necessary to prevent re-injury.  A severe ankle sprain may require a walking cast or even surgery to correct the injury.

Risk Factors

Sprained ankles are quite common in sports. Sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer, football, and track can make you vulnerable to this injury, especially if you are overweight. Any type of physical activity on uneven surfaces will also increase risk. Prior ankle injuries also increase your vulnerability to future ankle sprains or injuries.

Let Us Help You

Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive RearFoot and Ankle Surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education.

Dr. Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four month post-graduate Residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery and a twenty-four month surgical Fellowship training program in Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Surgery.

Dr. Mechanik is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.  .

With his expertise in foot care, Dr. Mechanik can help put you on the path to ankle sprain recovery. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 303-333-3383.