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    Everything You Need to Know About Ankle Sprains

    According to sports medicine experts, the average person walks between five to ten thousand steps per day. So, there is always a chance for one of those steps to lead to some trouble, likely in the form of a sprained or rolled ankle.

    Sprains can be painful experience. They involve the stretching and/or tearing of your ankle’s ligaments. This is not to be confused with a “strain”, however, strains involve stretching and/or tearing in your muscles as well. According to surgeons and podiatrists that practice ankle surgery in Houston, the ankle is the most commonly sprained part of the body.

    While they can occur quite often, not all of them are light injuries. Long-term weakness and joint pain can happen when an individual, experiences a serious ankle sprain or multiple ankle sprains occur on the same ankle.

    Everything You Need to Know About Ankle Sprains

    But how do ankle sprains happen? Most forms of ankle sprain can occur when you make a swift change in movement with your foot on the ground. You could be running, practicing a sport, dancing, or any other activity involving heavy foot movement. The foot, when planted or coming down on the ground, will tend to turn inward, with an ankle rolling outward. This unexpected movement causes the ligament on the outside of your ankle to stretch and possibly tear. It is possible, too, for the foot to turn outward with the ankle rolling inward, with the ligaments on the other side of your foot being at risk.

    Signs of an Ankle Sprain:

    As soon as the sprain happens, you will right away feel pain where you have stretched and/or torn your ligaments. It can also lead to swelling and bruising in your ankle. You would feel serious pain when trying to move your ankle, and it would feel tender to the touch. For more serious sprains, you might also hear and/or feel a tear, pop, or snap sound. You would feel excruciating pain and would not be able to walk or put weight on that ankle. Typically, the more the ankle hurts and the more swelling it has, the longer it will take for the ankle to heal.

    What to Expect from Your Doctor?

    Your doctor should examine your foot and ankle, as well as your knee and lower leg to determine if other parts of your foot or leg are injured. In many cases the doctor will consider an x-ray of your foot to check if there are any broken bones.

    In most cases, the RICE approach is tried first to see if it will contribute to healing the ankle. The RICE approach stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

    Rest doesn’t mean you have to rest, but just your ankle. You might need to walk with crutches to avoid putting weight on your ankle, and do so until it is no longer painful to walk without them.

    Ice involves putting a pack of ice on your injured ankle for 10 to 20 minutes every hour until the swelling reduces. Wrap the bag of ice in a cloth and press it against all the curves of where your foot is swollen.

    Compression should come in the form of an elastic wrap, to further help reduce the swelling. An ACE bandage should be wrapped around your ankle snugly and protected by a brace for 24 to 36 hours.

    Elevation means raising your ankle so that it is higher than your heart. This can easily be done when laying on a bed, couch, or recliner. Have your ankle elevated for two to three hours per day.

    While not an official component of the RICE approach, over-the-counter pain relievers such as naproxen or ibuprofen can also help to reduce swelling and pain in your ankle.

    If your doctor acknowledges a more serious sprain, he or she can consider rehab that involves a walking brace or boot. Rehab would involve performing exercises so that you can help your ankle’s range of motion, flexibility, balance, and strength. As a last resort, ankle surgery in Houston is also available if other methods do not work. For more serious injuries, it can take up several weeks for the ankle to fully recover.

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