About that Sprained Ankle

iStock 821824170 1Sprained ankles are common injuries, especially in active people. It’s easy to roll, twist, or turn your ankle in an awkward way when you’re out and about. 

But there are some misperceptions about sprained ankles, and we’d like to clear some of those up in this November blog for Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah. After all, since this blog is posting just before many Turkey Bowl football games, there will be plenty of sprained ankles to go around soon. 

What is a sprained ankle? 

There is some confusion about what constitutes a sprained ankle. First, a little anatomy. Our ligaments help stabilize our joints, preventing excessive movement. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. This happens when the foot and ankle rolls or twists in a way they’re not supposed to. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. 

What are the symptoms of a sprained ankle? 

Just about everyone has sprained an ankle at some point, often in our younger years when we’re rampaging about the playground. For adults, sprained ankles are common in sports and other physical activities such as running. Symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. They may include: 

  •     Pain, especially when you put weight on the affected foot
  •     Tenderness to the touch
  •     Swelling
  •     Bruising
  •     Restricted range of motion
  •     Instability in the ankle
  •     Popping sensation or sound at the time of the injury

When should I see the doctors at the Foot & Ankle Clinics? 

Call us if you have pain and swelling in your ankle and you suspect you’ve sprained it. Some people think home care is all that’s needed. They mistakenly believe a trip to the podiatrist won’t do anything more than they could do at home. That thinking can be a real mistake, as if you have a severe sprain, you could have a torn ligament or a broken bone in your ankle or lower leg. 

Treatments for a sprained ankle could be anything from the RICE approach to surgery. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. We may have you put on a course of physical therapy after the swelling and pain have lessened enough to resume movement. Or, if there is damage to a ligament, we can perform surgery to repair it. This could involve reconstructing a ligament in cases of severe damage. 

If you have believe you’ve sprained your ankle, we should see you to ascertain its severity. Give us a call at any of our five locations in American Fork (801), 763-3885; Payson, (801) 765-1718; Springville (801) 491-3668; and Orem (two locations), (801) 226-2421 or (801) 765-1718. 


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