What is an Ankle Sprain?
An ankle sprain is an injury that involves one or more of the ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are bands of connective tissue-much like rubber bands-that connect two bones together or hold together a joint. The ligaments in the ankle area function to provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement. When any of the ligaments in the ankle is damaged, the condition is known as ankle sprain.
Depending on the severity of the ankle sprain, some are much worse with more severe symptoms than others. The severity of the ankle sprain depends on how the ligaments are damaged-stretched, partially torn, or completely torn- as well as the number of damaged ligaments.
It is important to differentiate ankle sprains from ankle strains. Ankle sprains affects the ligaments of the ankle, and an ankle sprian affects the muscles. While the two injuries are localized in the same area, treatment options and recovery time may be different.
What are the Causes of an Ankle Sprain?
Ankle sprains are usually caused by a fall, a sudden twist, or force, like a kick or a push, that blows the ankle joint out of its normal position. Since a lot of force can be placed on the ankles while doing sports, ankle sprains are unfortunately common among athletes or people who participate in high-impact activities. In addition, using inappropriate shoes and walking or running on uneven surfaces increases the chances of an ankle sprain occurring as the ankle can easily be put out of its normal position.
Additionally, some people might be born with weak ankles which makes them more prone to ankle sprain. That is not to say ankle sprains are genetically inherited, but that a foot structure might be inherited that makes you more prone to ankle sprains. In addition, trauma to the foot or ankle can also weaken the ligaments and lead to ankle sprain.
What are the Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?
- Pain in the ankle
- Swelling of the ankle
- Bruising of the ankle
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness or decerased range of motion in the ankle joint
How is an Ankle Sprain Diagnosed?
Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA will obtain a complete history of your symptoms, do a physical examination of your foot and ankle, and observe your gait to diagnose an ankle sprain and its severity. In-office X-ray imaging or other advanced imaging studies may be done to help determine the degree of the injury and any other underlying causes.
What are the Treatment Options?
Various conservative and surgical treatment options can be used to treat ankle sprain. In a majority of cases, patients respond very well to conservative treatment options and are able to easily make a full recovery in a timely manner.
The conservative treatment options mostly commonly used by Dr.Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA include:
- Resting: to prevent further damage
- Icing: to reduce pain and swelling
- Compression: to control swelling
- Elevation: to reduce swelling
- Medications: to reduce inflammation & pain
- Physical Therapy: to promote healing
- PRP Injection: Facilitate the healing process
In more severe cases of ankle sprains where significant damage has been done to the ligaments, surgical intervention may be needed. Surgery often involves repairing the severely damaged ligament(s). Dr.Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles, CA will consider the severity of your condition, existing medical conditions, your activity level, and other factors in selecting the most optimal surgical procedure.