An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries – regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or not. Anyone who walks is at some level of risk of developing a sprained ankle. Many people fail to recognize they have a sprained ankle and do not seek treatment. As a result, the injury can cause a lot of pain and delay recovery.
What Is an Ankle Sprain?
Ligaments have a particular range of motion that allows them to stabilize joints while also giving a level of flexibility. The ligament in the lower leg prevents excessive movement of the ankle and keeps the ankle joint together. You may develop an ankle sprain when you roll, twist, or turn the ankle in a sudden, forceful way. When this happens, you stretch and risk tearing the ligament responsible for keeping the ankle straight. When the ligament is stretched or torn past its normal range of motion, an ankle sprain occurs.
Causes of an Ankle Sprain
Everyone is at risk of developing a sprained ankle regardless of age, gender, medical history, and level of physical activity. However, some factors can increase your risk of this injury. These factors include:
- Participation in sports
- Walking on uneven surfaces
- Wearing inappropriate footwear
- Landing on your foot wrong or awkwardly
- Fall and twisting your ankle
- Previous ankle injury
- Poor ankle flexibility
Recognizing an Ankle Sprain
Doctors classify an ankle sprain in three categories depending on its severity. Grade 1 sprains happen when you experience mild pain and swelling as a result of a slight tearing of the ligament. A grade 2 sprain means the ligament is partially torn, causing moderate pain and swelling. A grade 3 sprain is a full tear of the ligament, typically accompanied by a popping sound at the time of injury. It also includes significant pain, bruising, and swelling.
When you have a sprained ankle, your tendons, cartilage, and blood vessels may also be damaged. To recognize whether or not you have an ankle sprain, you should look out for these signs and symptoms in the ankle area:
- Pain when you put your weight on the affected foot
- Skin discoloration
- Warmth on the affected area
- Stiffness or limited range of motion
- Instability of the affected ankle
- A popping sound at the time of injury
If you are experiencing any of these issues, you should see an orthopedic doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. It can be difficult to diagnose the severity of your ankle sprain on your own. If you misdiagnose, your injury could go untreated and cause you a lot of pain. After a physical examination and imaging tests, your doctor will be able to diagnose your level of injury and recommend a treatment plan to effectively and efficiently heal the sprained ankle.
Ankle Sprain Treatment in Ohio
The ankle can develop several types of injuries, including a sprain. The treatment for a sprain depends on its severity. Although home remedies and over-the-counter medications are effective on minor sprains, it is still essential to get a medical evaluation from your doctor to determine the level of injury you’ve incurred.
The experts at Orthopaedic Associates routinely treat orthopedic injuries and conditions – from the most minor ones to the most debilitating ones. To request an appointment, you may call us at (440) 892-1440 or visit our Westlake or Avon offices. You can also request an appointment with our specialists through this online form.