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Did you recently fall and twist your ankle but don't know if you sprained it? Dr. Matthew Hinderland, who practices podiatry at Foot & Ankle Institute of Colorado in Colorado Springs, CO, discusses how sprains occur and shares several commons signs of sprained ankles.
What are sprains?
Sprains happen when the ligaments that connect the bones in your ankle joint tear. The injury often occurs while playing sports, but may also happen in your foot rolls when you step off a curb or walk on an uneven surface. You may be more likely to develop a sprain if you've sprained your ankle in the past or if your heels naturally turn inward.
How can I tell if I have a sprained ankle?
Possible signs of a sprain include:
- Pain: Pain in your ankle can be a sign that you have a sprain. The pain may be constant, may increase when you walk, or might only occur briefly when you first hurt your ankle.
- Difficulty Walking: Walking can be challenging if you have a sprain. In addition to pain, stiffness may also be a concern. If you can't put any weight on your ankle, call our Colorado Springs as soon as possible. An inability to bear weight on an injured ankle can be a sign of a severe sprain or a fracture. If you have a fracture rather than a sprain, your ankle may look deformed.
- Swelling and Bruising: The tissues surrounding your ligaments become inflamed when you sprain your ankle. As blood rushes to the injured area, swelling and bruising occurs.
- A Popping Sound: Did you hear a pop when you hurt your ankle? As ligaments tear, they may make a popping sound.
What should I do if I think I have an ankle sprain?
Stay off your feet as much as possible after your injury. Wear a compression bandage and apply ice to reduce swelling and pain. When you rest your ankle, keep it elevated.
When your ankle still hurts after a few weeks of rest, your pain is severe or you can't walk on your ankle, make an appointment with our office. After we evaluate the source of your pain, we may recommend crutches and a walking boot to reduce pressure during the healing process. Physical therapy can be helpful to strengthen the muscles that support the ankle joint. Although surgery usually isn't needed, it may be recommended if your ankle has become unstable due to your injury.
Do you think you sprained your ankle? Call Dr. Hinderland, who practices podiatry at Foot & Ankle Institute of Colorado in Colorado Springs, CO, at (719) 488-4664 to schedule an appointment.