More than 23,000 people a day seek medical attention for ankle sprains in the United States. The experienced podiatrists at Dan Preece, DPM & Darren Groberg, DPM, a branch of Utah Musculoskeletal Specialists, in Salt Lake City, Utah, treat all grades of ankle sprains. Whether you suffer a minor sprain or a sprain that requires a more comprehensive treatment, like laser therapy, the team can help you recover and get back on your feet as soon as possible. Call the office or schedule a visit online to learn more.
A sprained ankle is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, typically on the outside of the ankle. A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bones and binds your joints.
The ligaments in your ankle provide much-needed stability that limits your ankle’s side-to-side movements. When these ligaments are damaged, they can cause pain and hinder your ankle’s range of motion.
There are three grades of sprains that require varying treatments:
A Grade 1 ankle sprain is caused by minor stretching or tearing of the ligament, resulting in inflammation, tenderness, and swelling. If you have a Grade 1 ankle sprain, you should be able to walk with minimal pain.
If you have a Grade 2 ankle sprain, you may experience moderate pain, inflammation, swelling, and bruising around the ankle. This means your ligament is torn, but not completely. In most cases, your ankle should feel relatively stable, but walking may be painful.
A Grade 3 ankle sprain happens when there’s a complete tear of the ligament. This typically results in severe swelling, inflammation, pain, and bruising. Walking may feel extremely uncomfortable, if not impossible.
If you have a sprained ankle, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
These symptoms may vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the ankle sprain.
After examining your ankle and reviewing your medical history, the team may use in-house X-ray imaging or an ultrasound to help diagnose your ankle sprain and determine what type of treatment you need.
Some of the most common nonsurgical ankle sprain treatments include the following:
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are vital for treating ankle sprains and reducing inflammation, so your ankle has a chance to heal. The team may recommend an elastic wrap to control swelling. Most importantly, you must stay off your ankle while it heals; walking on a sprained ankle can aggravate the injury.
Your foot and ankle specialist may design a physical therapy plan to help you regain function of your ankle. This typically includes exercises and stretches to increase your range of motion.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can reduce inflammation to relieve pain and give your ankle a chance to heal.
The team uses MLS® Laser Therapy to repair damage to soft tissues by increasing blood flow to your injured ligaments. This helps speed up the healing process, so you can get back on your feet sooner.
In severe cases, you may need ankle surgery to repair your torn ligament. After surgery, it’s important to start a rehabilitation program right away to ensure your injury heals properly.
For more information on ankle sprains and how to treat them, call the team at Dan Preece, DPM & Darren Groberg, DPM, or book an appointment online.