Treating a Sprained Ankle

In most cases, a sprained ankle is nothing more than a nuisance. If you stay off the foot, elevate, and ice the ankle, and you will be back to normal before you know it. But there are times when a sprained ankle can be a complex injury that requires more care to recover and fully regain mobility.

What Is a Sprained Ankle?

A sprained ankle occurs when one of the four major ligaments in the ankle is stretched, torn, or damaged from being overextended, twisted, or pulled. Spraining an ankle is a quite common injury. While it can happen during sports activities, from tennis to football, it can also happen while walking, stepping wrong off a staircase, turning abruptly, or losing your balance.

How Can I Tell If I Sprained My Ankle?

The most common signs of a sprained ankle are immediate pain after the injury followed by swelling, tenderness, and sometimes bruising. A mild sprain may be no more than a momentary inconvenience, or it can be a more serious pain that makes it hurt to walk and requires the use of crutches and a walking cast. While you can treat most sprains at home, a serious sprain can impede your mobility and keep you from returning to your normal activities. If you heard a popping sound when the ankle was injured or the bruising and swelling is severe, you should see a physician.

When At-Home Treatment Isn’t Enough

If your ankle is not healing using traditional at-home treatment like the RICE method, physical therapy and strengthening exercises may also help improve ankle strength. Surgery, such as arthroscopy or reconstruction surgery, may be recommended if the sprained ankle does not heal with nonsurgical treatment methods.

If you are experiencing ankle pain, discomfort, a decreased range of motion, or other ankle-related symptoms, a consultation with an orthopedic specialist may be the first step towards diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Dr. Burrus is an experienced fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is dedicated to providing high-quality, specialized holistic care. Call 512.477.6341 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.