You’re playing your favorite sport or walking in your high heels when suddenly you twist your ankle. It hurts and you’re not sure if you’ve strained, sprained, or broken it. As the day goes on and your ankle starts to get larger and darker, you know something’s wrong.
How to Tell Whether You Have a Sprained Ankle
Your ankle is a complicated joint. The ball-in socket-joint moves in a circular direction, keeping your foot mobile and loose. To stabilize this joint, your ankle is surrounded by ligaments and tendons. When these become stretched or torn, your ankle is considered sprained.
Some ankle sprains are mild while others are more severe. Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, you will have one or some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty walking (especially when you apply pressure)
- Instability (especially when you apply pressure)
- Moderate to severe pain
The type of symptoms you experience depends on the way your ankle is sprained and the severity of the sprain.
Low Sprains vs High Sprains
There are two main types of ankle sprains: high and low.
Low Ankle Sprains
Low ankle sprains are the more common. These happen when you roll or twist your ankle. This can happen while you’re playing your favorite sport, out for a jog, at work, or anywhere else where you walk. For the most part, the injuries from a low ankle sprain are minimal.
High Ankle Sprains
High ankle sprains are the more serious version of sprains. This type of sprain happens when some type of trauma hits your ankle and forces it to bend and twist abnormally. Usually, these ankles happen when you’re hit while playing a contact sport or when you are hurt in an auto accident.
Treating Your Sprained Ankle is Easier Than You Might Think
In very mild ankle sprains, you can help your ankle recover by elevating and icing it. However, if your ankle is severely sprained, it is critical that you seek help from a podiatrist. Without properly treating your ankle sprain, your ankle could weaken, causing more injuries.
The first step in treating your ankle sprain is to diagnose your condition. Dr. David Haddad will perform X-rays and do a physical exam to determine the extent of your injury. These tests will also help Dr. Haddad know whether there are any other injuries associated with your ankle sprain.
Once the full extent of your injury is determined, Dr. David Haddad will recommend treatment. Some treatment options include anti-inflammatory medication, immobilizing your ankle, or surgery.