Sprained Ankle -- Foot Problems and Treatment

What To Do With A Sprained Ankle

Stephen D. Lasday, DPM Foot Pain, Podiatrist Sarasota and Bradenton

Tim Duncan, Photo By Michael Sandoval [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tim Duncan out of action due to sprained ankle

We’ve either done it ourselves or know someone who has–spraining an ankle is one of the most commonly occurring ankle injuries.  In fact, forward Tim Duncan for the San Antonio Spurs just recently sprained his ankle in a game against the Golden State Warriors.  He landed awkwardly on the foot and was out for the rest of the game.  Fortunately, the game ended in a 111-96 victory over the Warriors, but unfortunately Duncan is left with a sprained ankle.  This means he’ll be out the next couple of games or more and need to start rehabilitation.

 

You don’t have to a be a professional athlete to have this happen to you.  Sometimes all it takes to sprain your ankle is a roll, twist or turn in an awkward way and boom…you have a sprained ankle!

Signs and Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

It’s usually not too hard to figure out you have an ankle sprain.  Initial signs of a sprained ankle include swelling and pain.  Bruising may be immediate or can show up hours later.

It may be difficult to stand on the injured ankle or move your foot in the normal way. It may also got hot and red.  It is a good sign if you can put some of your weight on it.  Ideally  it is best to get a professional to look at your ankle and diagnose it properly and prescribe the proper treatment for it.

Treatment for a Sprained Ankle

Treatment is pretty straight forward for an ankle sprain. The standard treatment for sprains is often abbreviated as “RICE”, that is:

  • Rest:  Rest is extremely important the first few days after a sprained ankle, but total inactivity can lead to stiffness.
  • Ice: (cold compresses) Use cold compresses and apply it to the injured ankle. Do not apply for more than a few minutes at a time.
  • Compression : For example using a bandage to apply compression to injured ankle which speeds healing process and provides support.
  • Elevation:  Elevate your leg up on the sofa or a stool.

Additionally, I may have the patient use some pain relief such as ibuprofen or topical analgesic to help manage the pain associated with the sprain.   If it is a severe sprain, I may prescribe physical therapy for the patient to strengthen the ankle area; as once an ankle is sprained, it is susceptible to future sprains.  So bracing the ankle is critical for proper healing.

Ultimately, you need time for your body’s natural healing processes to help heal the injured area and this will usually take quite a few weeks.  And a few weeks of rest isn’t usually too hard to abide by for most people, unless of course, you’re a professional athlete like Tim Duncan.  Here’s hoping Tim Duncan has a speedy recovery and is back on the court soon and remains injury-free.

If you would like more information about ankle sprains or are looking for a podiatrist in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday right away for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in his Bradenton Podiatry office or Sarasota Podiatry office.