An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle joint moves beyond its normal range of motion, causing the ligaments (elastic bands of tissue that hold bones together) to overstretch or even tear. This causes pain and inflammation as well as makes it difficult to use the ankle, for example when walking.
How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?
The diagnosis is clinical, this means that a special study is not totally necessary, although X-rays can be used to verify that no bone is fractured or even ultrasound to check in more detail the state of the damaged ligaments. But usually just listening to the patient’s symptoms and a little physical examination is enough to detect the problem.
When to visit the doctor?
After a trauma that injures your ankle, you should seek medical attention if:
- Trying to put your weight on the affected ankle causes pain.
- You notice any deformity.
- If when walking you feel instability in the ankle
Even if you have any doubts about your injury, it is best to visit the doctor to check you out.
How is an ankle sprain treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the sprain, but in general, there are 4 pillars in the treatment of ankle sprain, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE for its acronym in English)
Rest. You should try to use your injured ankle as little as possible, preferably in bed or sitting, and you can use crutches to move around if necessary.
Ice. It is used to help with inflammation and pain, it should be used every 1 or 2 hours for 15 minutes until completed 6 hours after the injury, it is not necessary to use it for more days.
Compression. This is achieved with elastic bandages to minimize inflammation and provide stability to the ankle.
Elevation. Putting your ankle on a couple of pillows when you are lying down or on a table when you are sitting will help reduce inflammation by favouring the return of blood due to the action of gravity.
In addition to these 4 pillars of treatment, you can also rely on the use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications to help with pain and inflammation.
After an ankle sprain, you should do some exercises to help you regain strength in your ankle, your doctor will tell you what type of exercises or therapy will be the best for your case.
Remember that it is always better to have the assessment of a specialist in these cases since surgery may even be necessary in some cases.
At Doctor At Home PV, we have the best Orthopedic surgeons in Puerto Vallarta to assist you even in your own home, do not hesitate and call us