What Is Ankle Sprain?
A sprained ankle is caused by rolling, twisting, or turning your ankle at an uncomfortable angle. Due to this, the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that hold your ankle bones together can be stretched or torn. Ligaments aid in the stabilization of joints and the prevention of excessive movement at the ankle joints. When ligaments are stretched beyond their normal limits, it results in a sprained ankle. The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are most commonly injured in sprained ankles. Three ligaments prevent the bones in your ankle from shifting out of place. When one of these ligaments is stretched or torn, it results in a sprained ankle.
There are 3 grades of ankle sprain:
|Grade 1||Mild||The ligaments are stretched by not ruptured (torn). The ankle feels stable and may feel pain on weight-bearing. It is accompanied by stiffness.|
|Grade 2||Moderate||One or more ligaments are partially ruptured. The ankle joint isn’t stable and weight-bearing becomes difficult. It is accompanied by pain and swelling.|
|Grade 3||Severe||One or more ligaments are totally torn and the ankle joint is unstable. It is accompanied by excruciating pain and cannot be moved.|
Ankle Sprain Symptoms:
The symptoms of an ankle sprain may vary depending upon the severity and grade of the injury.
- Pain, particularly when weight bearing on the affected foot.
- Tenderness on palpation/touch.
- Unstable Ankle.
- Reduced Range Of Motion.
Diagnosis Of Ankle Sprain:
- Physical Examination: During a physical examination, the therapist/doctor will examine your foot and will palpate the joint to check tender points. He/she will move it in various angles to check the range of motions and understand the position of cause of pain and discomfort.
If the injury is severe, other diagnostic tools may be suggested such as
- X-Ray: X-ray is done to rule out bone fractures.
- MRI: An MRI gives a cross-sectional or 3D image of the soft tissues around the ankle and also helps to diagnose the level of injury to the ligament.
- CT-scan: CT scans can reveal more information about the bones. CT scans combine X-rays from a variety of angles to create cross-sectional or 3-D images.
Treatment Of Ankle Sprain:
Treatment of a sprained ankle depends on the grade of the injury. The goals are to reduce pain, reduce swelling, promote healing of the torn ligament and restore the highest functional level of the ankle joint. You may be referred to a physiotherapist or an orthopedic surgeon depending on the grade of injury.
- Treatment by Physical Therapy
- Patient education: Patient education on the condition and ways to reduce pain and swelling. Use of RICE (Rest, Icing, Compression and Elevation) method.
Rest: Avoid excessive movement and movements that cause pain and discomfort.
Icing: Use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Inform the doctor if you have a history of diabetes, vascular, reduced sensations.
Compression: An elastic bandage is used to compress swelling until the swelling subsides.
Elevation: To reduce the swelling, elevate the leg above the heart level. Gravity assists by draining excess fluid.
- Physical Therapy Exercise Regime: The physical therapist will wait until the swelling subsides and then resumes the movement gradually. The exercises will focus on increasing the range of motion, strength and flexibility. The exercises will progress to improving balance and stability exercises. The exercises will focus on retraining the ankle muscles to work together and supporting the ankle joint to prevent recurrent sprains. The exercises will also focus on agility training and gradually on gym equipment.
- Surgical Treatment
When an injury does not heal or the ankle remains unstable after a long period of physical therapy and rehabilitative exercise, surgery may be required. Surgical procedures may be used to
- Repair a ligament that isn’t healing properly.
- Reconstruct a ligament with tissue from another ligament or tendon.
How Sancheti Hospital can help you?
Sancheti Hospital is a leading healthcare facility known for providing exceptional orthopedic services. Our team of renowned surgeons has a history of successfully performing various procedures, including spine replacements, joint and hip replacements, and plastic and reconstructive surgeries. Our highly qualified doctors will work with you to determine the best treatment to alleviate your pain. If you need expert medical advice and top-notch care, Sancheti Hospital is the perfect choice.