Ankle Sprains by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.
Ankle sprains are a common problem that our physicians treat in the urgent care. Many ankle sprains are from an injury where the ankle bends inwards (inversion injuries) and about half result from playing sports. Right now, our clinics have had patients coming in for ankle sprains due to winter activities such as snowboarding and skiing. We commonly see them in teenagers and young adults. Additionally, new fashion trends in footwear including platform heels have also caused injuries when a misstep (stepping off a curb or getting out of a car) causes the ankle to roll outward inverting the ankle.
Immediate treatment for ankle sprains is elevation and ice. Decreasing the swelling will reduce pain and improve recovery time. Ankle sprains may need to be X-rayed, especially if it is painful to stand on the foot (bear weight) or if you are unable to take more than 4 steps. Studies show that an ankle brace or lace-up support is helpful for reducing swelling and speeds up recovery time to return to activities. Evidence suggests that early mobilization (as tolerated) is better than prolonged rest. This enables the patient to return to sports sooner and have long term ankle stability.
Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, Advil or Aleve may help with the swelling and pain. Physical therapy may be needed for significant ankle sprains. Ankle sprains should be rechecked in 4-6 weeks to assess ligament stability.The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.