Maybe you missed the bottom step or tripped on the curb or landed wrong after that amazing Frisbee catch, but chances are if you’ve sprained your ankle, you know it. Pain, swelling, bruising around the ankle, stiffness and difficulty walking make it pretty obvious. What’s happened is that the bands of tissue or ligaments, which bind the joints and bones in the ankle, have been over-stretched or torn. Ligament damage is what differentiates an ankle sprain from an ankle strain, which affects the muscles. If you’ve had an ankle or foot injury previously, your ankle may be weakened and you may be more likely to have an ankle sprain.
At Great Neck Family Foot Care we want you to come in as soon as possible after your injury. Even if you have had ankle sprains before, prompt medical attention is necessary and treatment is crucial. Here’s why:
- If an ankle sprain goes untreated, it may lead to chronic ankle instability (that feeling that the ankle “gives way” very easily) and weakness in the leg which will make you more susceptible to future injuries.
- The pain and discomfort of an ankle sprain could be masking another injury that could have occurred at the same time, such as a bone fracture.
- Rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to start right away. If you wait, the injury is less likely to heal properly and completely.
When you come in for an appointment with one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Alec Hochstein or Dr. Diana Gagliano, you will be asked to explain what happened to cause the injury. Your podiatrist will also want to hear about your symptoms and will take a thorough medical history. The foot doctor will examine your foot and may order a digital x-ray (which can be performed right in our Great Neck office) to determine the severity of the sprain.
Most likely, your foot doctor will ask you to follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation. Depending on the severity of your sprain, a physical therapy program may be recommended. In extreme cases, surgery might be needed.
Remember, the key is don’t delay—call our office at (516) 482-5999 as soon as possible after your injury.