An ankle or foot sprain is a soft tissue injury that occurs when an injury stretches or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. Many sprains happen during sports, especially basketball and football. However, you may sprain your ankle just tripping on uneven ground or stepping the wrong way off a curb.
If you have sprained your ankle, you will find it hard to walk on that foot. Your foot will swell and show bruising and you will feel extreme pain and stiffness.
Treating Ankle Sprains
R.I.C.E. is the best way to begin treatment at home: Rest your ankle or foot until you can see a doctor. Ice the area as soon as possible to reduce inflammation and reapply every three or 4 hours. Apply compression by wrapping an elastic bandage around the affected ankle. Elevate the leg on pillows, above your heart if possible.
If the pain and swelling have not subsided in a day or so or if you have difficulty walking, please come see a podiatrist for assessment of your injury. We will carefully examine your ankle and feet and order imaging tests like an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI to confirm our diagnosis.
Immobilization is important to complete healing of a sprain. After a period, you may be able to resume some activities by wearing a special boot or soft cast with crutches. Oral anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen can reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.
Preventing Ankle Sprains
To avoid ankle sprains, always wear the proper athletic shoes for your activity. Replace shoes when worn out. Avoid walking or running on uneven surfaces.