When you experience an ankle injury, it's not always easy to tell if the problem is just a twisted ankle or a sprain. Brendon McCarthy, D.P.M., your Naperville podiatrist at Fox Valley Foot Specialists, LTD, is here to explain how you can identify the type of injury you've suffered and what you can do to relieve your pain.
Is it a twist or sprain?
Twisted ankles are actually grade 1 sprains, the mildest type of sprains. If you twist or roll your ankle and experience a grade 1 sprain, your ligaments may become stretched. Ligaments are connective tissues that connect the bones of your ankle joint. In addition to soreness, you may notice a little ankle swelling.
Grade 2 and 3 sprains are the more serious injuries. If you experience a grade 2 sprain, part of your ligament tears when you step in a hole, fall or roll your ankle. Grade 2 sprains cause pain and more severe swelling. Walking can be difficult with this kind of sprain, as it will difficult to put weight on your foot.
Grade 3 sprains occur when the ligament tears completely. You'll experience intense pain and swelling and your ankle joint will be unstable. If you have a grade 3 sprain, it will be impossible to put any weight on your foot.
How are twists and sprains treated?
Rest, ice and elevation can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Wearing a compression bandage is a good idea if you have a grade 1 ankle sprain, while walking boots or casts and crutches may be needed if you have a grade 2 or 3 sprain.
How long will it take to get better?
You'll probably begin to feel much better in a week or two if you have a grade 1 sprain. Recovery from a grade 2 or 3 sprain may take as long as six to 12 weeks. Your Naperville podiatrist Dr. McCarthy may recommend physical therapy to reduce stiffness in your joint and build up the ankles that support your ankle if you have a serious sprain.
Don't let an ankle injury ruin your day. Visit Dr. McCarthy, your Naperville podiatrist at Fox Valley Foot Specialists, LTD, for a complete foot and ankle evaluation. Call him at (630) 548-3900 to schedule an appointment.