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Acting on Ankle Sprains

20 May Acting on Ankle Sprains

Any podiatrist will tell you that pain deferred is not pain denied. In fact, the opposite is true: Waiting too long to seek treatment for a foot or ankle ailment tends to increase the odds of more severe complications.

While a minor sprain might seem like a temporary nuisance, the team at Alta Ridge Foot Specialists doesn’t want you to learn how they get worse the hard way! This post will explore the different types of ankle sprains, the dangers of ignoring them, and how a podiatrist can intervene.

What’s a Sprain?

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments connecting your bones stretch or tear due to a sudden twist or roll. The severity of the sprain depends on the extent of the ligament damage.

Studies suggest that many sprains occur during athletic or sports related activity, with basketball leading the pack in terms of likelihood.

From Mild to Major

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the most common sprains, moving from least to most severe:

  • Grade 1 Sprain (Mild): This involves minimal tearing of the ligaments, causing slight pain, swelling, and tenderness. With proper rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE protocol), most grade 1 sprains heal within a few weeks.
  • Grade 2 Sprain (Moderate): A grade 2 sprain indicates a partial tear of the ligaments. Symptoms include moderate pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight. Healing takes longer (4-8 weeks) and may require physical therapy, supportive braces, or the use of custom orthotics.
  • Grade 3 Sprain (Severe): A complete tear of the ligaments is a grade 3 sprain. This is the most serious type, causing significant pain, swelling, instability, and potentially an inability to walk. Without proper medical attention, a grade 3 sprain can lead to chronic instability and long-term complications.

Improper healing from ankle trauma can cause damage to the joint cartilage, potentially leading to osteoarthritis later in life. If you’re in pain from a sprain, don’t delay; check in with us today!

At Alta Ridge Foot SpecialistsDr. W. Aaron BroylesDr. Robert L. Van BrederodeDr. Thomas Verla, and the rest of our staff at our Mars Hill, Spruce Pine, and Boone, NC, offices are here to help with any of your foot concerns. Contact us at one of our three locations today to make an appointment.