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Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain

If you have sprained your ankle, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected ankle
  • Bruising
  • Restricted mobility
  • Popping sound or sensation at the time of injury

Causes of an Ankle Sprain

There are numerous ways that you can twist and sprain your ankle, from walking on an uneven surface to participating in competitive sports. Other ways a sprained ankle can occur includes:

  • Another person stepping or landing on your foot
  • Landing awkwardly on your foot after jumping or pivoting, causing your ankle to twist
  • Prior ankle injuries
  • Poor physical condition
  • Improper footwear

Diagnosing an Ankle Sprain

Your sports medicine specialist at Performance Sports Medicine Institute will first conduct a physical examination of the region to identify points of tenderness and determine your range of motion. If the injury is severe, your sports medicine physician may recommend one of the following tests to more accurately assess the damage:

  • X-ray
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • CT Scan
  • Ultrasound

Treatments for an Ankle Sprain

It is critical to seek medical treatment for your ankle sprain as a majority of ankle sprains lead to additional sprains and chronic symptoms. Non-surgical forms of treatment involve:

  • Functional support: splint, walking boot, crutches
  • Physical therapy
  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers

Surgical treatment for a sprained ankle is rare and only occurs for an injury that has failed to respond to non-surgical treatment. Your surgery may be an open-repair or an arthroscopy procedure, depending on the extent of the damage. An orthopedic specialist will perform the surgery to repair or reconstruct any torn ligaments that have not healed.

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