Ankle sprains are frequent injuries that may cause long-term problems without expert treatment. The experienced providers at Orthopedic Specialists of Oakland County assess your sprained ankle and provide a range of effective treatments to relieve pain and restore function. To find out how you can benefit from their expertise in treating ankle sprains, call the Orthopedic Specialists of Oakland County office in Bloomfield Hills or Clarkston, Michigan, or book an appointment online today.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments (connective tissues that connect the bones) stretch too far or tear. Ankle sprains are very common and affect people of all ages. They may be mild if there’s minimal injury or severe if the ligament damage is extensive.
Ankle sprains happen when your foot twists awkwardly or folds over. That can happen during numerous activities, from walking and running on uneven surfaces or falling over to injuries suffered when playing sports.
If you sprain your ankle, apply the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) protocol as soon as possible. Rest the joint by keeping your weight off it and apply ice three or four times a day for 20 to 30 minutes. Use compression bandages or wraps to immobilize and support the ankle, and raise it above your heart as much as you can for the first 48 hours.
Milder sprains usually respond well to home treatments such as RICE and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some ankle sprains require additional therapy under the care of Orthopedic Specialists of Oakland County. Options include:
Using crutches helps to keep the weight off your ankle. You might also benefit from wearing a removable device like a cast boot for a moderate ankle sprain or an air stirrup-type brace. More severe sprains might need a cast brace or short leg cast for up to three weeks.
Physical therapy exercises help prevent stiffness and increase strength in the joint. Early movement involves range-of-motion exercises without bearing weight, with strengthening exercises for your muscles and tendons added as you start to heal. Later on, you can do balance training, agility, and endurance exercises.
Correct treatment of ankle sprains is vital, so these injuries shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t follow a medical rehabilitation plan, you risk repeating the sprain, developing chronic joint instability and pain.
The vast majority of ankle sprains are treatable without surgery — even complete ligament tears can heal, providing the ankle is properly immobilized. Orthopedic Specialists of Oakland County usually only considers surgery if you’re experiencing ongoing ankle instability after several months of non-surgical treatment.
Your surgeon may look inside your ankle joint using an arthroscope — a tiny camera on the end of a flexible tube that enters your ankle through a small incision. They use arthroscopic instruments to make any repairs needed. In the most serious cases, your surgeon may need to reconstruct the ankle using tissue grafts.
To get the best treatment for your ankle sprain, call Orthopedic Specialists of Oakland County today or book an appointment online.