Ankle Sprain Overview
Ankle sprains occur when one or more of the strong ligaments that connect the ankle bones are partially torn. It is always best to make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedics and Neurological Associates’ (CONA) foot and ankle specialist after an ankle sprain. A customized treatment plan reduces symptoms and treats the sprain as quickly as possible.
Symptoms & Causes
Ankle sprain symptoms occur immediately or shortly after the injury:
- Difficulty bearing weight
- Skin discoloration
Ankle sprains occur when the foot suddenly twists or rolls. Movements include:
- Cutting while running
- Falling from an elevated area
Nearly everyone experiences an ankle sprain at some point in their life. Athletes and active individuals have the highest ankle sprain risk
Nonsurgical treatment options treat ankle sprains. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA hip specialist may recommend:
- Immobilization (cast, splint, boot, crutches)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE)
Treatment plans are always customized to the patient’s injury and lifestyle. Multiple treatment options are used for maximum symptom relief.
A CONA specialist uses a step-by-step process to make an accurate diagnosis:
- An injury report is obtained
- An ankle examination is performed
- X-rays are taken to rule out a fracture
An ankle sprain is diagnosed and its severity is determined. Grade 1 sprains are mild. Grade 2 sprains are moderate. Grade 3 sprains are severe.