The ankle joint is a complicated joint and there are many bones which come together to make up the ankle joint. There are many ligaments that attach to the bones at the ankle and are very susceptible to injury. The most common mechanism of injury for the ankle joint is an inversion ankle sprain. This means that your ankle is plantar-flexed and inverted (pointed down and in) at the time of injury.
Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain:
- Loss of mobility in the ankle joint
Ankle Sprain Diagnosis:
Your physician will evaluate your injury by taking a complete medical history, including mechanism of injury, prior injuries and symptoms. Your physician will also perform a complete physical examination of your ankle. In addition, your physician may recommend an x-ray of your ankle.
Ankle Sprain Treatment:
- Rest, stay off your leg as much as possible or use an ambulatory device, such as crutches
- Use ice for 20 minutes on with 40 minutes off throughout the day, for the first 72 hours since the injury occurred
- Use an ace wrap or ankle brace to reduce swelling in your ankle.
- Elevate your ankle.
- Take an anti-inflammatory or pain medication prescribed by your physician.
Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation:
- Your physical therapist will suggest strengthening the muscles of your lower leg and foot. They will also work with you on range of motion, balance and coordination.
- They also may fit you for an ankle brace to help support your ankle.
Prevention of a Sprained Ankle:
- Wear proper fitting shoes.
- Stretch before and after you exercise.
- Avoid sharp movements.