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What is an Ankle Sprain?


Ankle sprains occur when the ankle suddenly twists. It causes damage to the soft tissues and ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.

The ankle ligament stabilizes the ankle joint. A ligament consists of several strands of tissue all compacted together to form a strong structure. Sometimes, ankle sprains may cause a partial or complete tear of a ligament.

When an ankle sprain occurs, the patient may hear a pop or snap.

An ankle sprain is a common walking and sporting injury.


Symptoms of Ankle Sprains?


  • An audible pop or snapping sound at the time of injury
  • Swelling
  • Inability to walk or apply pressure to the ankle
  • Pain
  • Bruises


Types of Ankle Sprains


  • Grade 1: Mild tear or pull of ligament. Painful but can bear weight. These types of ankle sprains can usually be self-treated.
  • Grade 2: Larger but incomplete tear of the ligament. Pain is severe and ankle won't support much weight.
  • Grade 3: Complete tear of ligament or ligaments. Very painful. Cannot touch or move the ankle without pain. This injury may require surgery in extreme cases.


What causes Ankle Sprains?


Most ankle sprains are caused by a sudden twist of the ankle. This may be caused by:

  • Sports activity (running, jumping, soccer)
  • Abnormal walking condition
  • Walking on uneven surfaces


How are Ankle Sprains treated?


If you believe you have sprained your ankle, apply ice or an ice pack on it immediately. The ice will help decrease the swelling. Next, visit your family doctor so they can make arrangements to have an x-ray taken to rule out a break. Ultra-sound and other therapeutic treatments along with strapping and braces may be used, once a fracture has been ruled out.

You should also follow the R.I.C.E. theory. To follow R.I.C.E, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate the wounded area.

In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendons supporting the ankle.

It usually takes about 3 to 7 weeks to fully recover. It may take a few months for swelling to completely go away completely.

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