What to Do When You Sprain Your Ankle

What to Do When You Sprain Your Ankle

What to Do When You Sprain Your Ankle

Stretching and tearing on the bands of tough tissue in your ankle that keeps the bones held together is not pleasant. This is a sprain. It is caused by awkward twisting, turning, or rolling your ankle. When the ligaments (tough tissue bands) are forced to go beyond their normal motion range, you are often left with lots of pain, and a few questions for your orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs. These are a few steps you should take when you sprain your ankle.

Sprain Ankle Treatment

While the severity of the sprain will dictate what treatment is necessary and sufficient, self-care measures are often an option. Before all else, if you injure your ankle, make a doctor’s appointment. If you sprain your ankle, you need to get evaluated by a medical professional. You may be referred to a musculoskeletal specialist for your injuries.

The goal for treating a sprain is to reduce the swelling and pain. You want to promote the healing process of the ligament(s) and restore the ankle's function. If severe enough, you will likely need rehabilitation and medications.

Self-Care Option

If you feel your injury is mild enough, or you are not in a lot of pain or showing little swelling, then there are self-care treatments to help with sprains. All You need to do is:

  • Avoid strenuous/painful activities
  • Apply ice packs for 15 minutes, every 3 hours.
  • Without hindering circulation, use a bandage to compress your ankle.
  • Elevate the injury

Following these self-care steps will help reduce pain, swelling, and promote faster healing. However, never replace professional medical care for a couple ice packs and an Ace bandage wrap. For any injury that noticeably impacts your day to day life, make sure you are seen by your doctor.

Medications & Surgery

A lot of times, you can take over-the-counter medications (ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc) to manage the pain of the sprain. There are rare occasions where surgery is needed for the injury to heal or become stable again. This doesn't always mean it will be an instant fix.

Physical Therapy

Severe or not, doctors may recommend that you undergo physical therapy. This could simply mean a set of exercises that will help with the restoration of the ankle's strength, stability, flexibility, and range of motion.

There will also be stability and balancing training. The muscles have to be retrained to work together. This is important to prevent future sprains from happening. These exercises may seem a bit more challenging in comparison to some.

Consult a Medical Professional

Sport and work injuries need to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs. Don't just go back to work thinking you are okay, make sure your doctor tells you that you are able to resume your normal life with the ankle in its current condition.

If you have recently suffered an injury or deal with pain in your ankle, contact Florida Bone and Joint to schedule an appointment with us today.