Sprained Ankle

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The ankle is most likely to be sprained with the toes on the ground and heel up. This position is known as plantar flexion. Plantar flexion puts the ankle’s outer (lateral) ligaments under tension, making them vulnerable.
A sudden force such as landing on an uneven surface will cause the foot to turn inward (inversion). This action can cause the outer ligaments to stretch or tear and result in a sprained ankle.

Sprained Ankles are classified into 3 grades, as follows:

Grade I
sprained ankle injuries involve a stretch of the ligament with microscopic but not macroscopic tearing. 

Generally, little ankle swelling is present, with little or no functional loss, no joint instability but ankle pain.

Grade II sprained ankle injuries involve stretched ligaments with partial tearing, moderate-to-severe ankle swelling, bruising, moderate functional loss, mild-to-moderate joint instability and ankle pain.

Grade III sprained ankle injuries involve the complete rupture of the ligament with immediate and severe ankle swelling, bruising, and an inability to bear weight, moderate-to-severe instability of the joint and severe ankle pain.
Symptoms Include:
  • Difficult ambulation.
  • Bruising at injury site.
  • Pain and ankle swelling.
  • Warm to touch.
Non-surgical treatment
Ankle sprains can be treated with PRICE.
  • P: Protection from further injury with an ankle brace.
  • R: Rest means keeping off the sprained ankle as much as possible. Crutches enable the patient to move about when necessary without placing weight on the injury. A splint may be applied to the ankle for support and severe sprains occasionally require a hard cast.
  • I: Icing, cold therapy to stimulate blood flow and relieve the ankle pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • C: Compression means supporting the ankle and foot with a firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage, compression stocking, or gel wrap. If ankle swelling causes the bandage to become tight, it should be loosened immediately.
  • E: Elevating the foot above heart level minimizes ankle bruising and ankle swelling. This should be done as often as possible during the first 48 hours.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease ankle pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.

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Ankle Sprain