Foot and ankle injuries are one of the common injuries faced by people on regular basis. Although some ankle strains and injuries heal by themselves after a while, some of them do need surgeries or other medication to recover.
Unfortunately, people have little knowledge about treating ankle sprains and injuries and this negligence in treatment often results in fatal consequences. Hence it is important to know and understand the nature and scope of ankle and foot injuries and also the remedies for them.
Our ankles are held in an alignment by a structure called “ligament”. There are several ligaments in our ankles and an injury to a ligament is called as ankle sprain. Which ligament gets hurt due to an injury is depended on the motion of the body and feet positioning. At several times more than one ligament gets affected during an injury.
The severity of ankle sprain is categorized into three levels-
This is the most basic form of an ankle sprain. In this category, there is no major impact on the ankle or the ligament and hence these kinds of sprains get healed quickly.
Generally, it takes about 2 to 10 days to recover from grade one sprain.
This is a relatively more severe ankle sprain where an individual faces difficulties in performing impact activities. This kind of sprain takes more time to heal. Sometimes, it takes about 30 days to recover fully while some second degree sprains get recovered in ten days.
2nd degree ankle sprain is caused due to excessive abnormal ankle activity and it results in damaging one or more ligaments.
The most severe cases of ankle sprain are categorized into 3rd degree sprain.
The ankle is unable to bear any weight and is highly unstable. Severe swelling on the ankle is common in this category.
The individual has to go through a prolonged rest period and the recovery takes about one month to three months.
The PRICE Therapy (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as a primary and MUST treatment.
The primary treatment for all types of ankle sprain is PRICE therapy which is simple yet highly effective.
Protection– Once the ankle has sprains, the first thing to do is to protect the ankle from further injuries. For this, the individual must avoid pain inducing activities and at times immobilization of the ankle in a boot is advised.
Rest– Rest is mandatory to allow the ankle to heal.
Ice compression– Ice decreases pain and reduces swelling. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes after every 1 and half hours for the initial 2 to 3 days.
Compression and Elevation– These activities reduce swelling and boost the healing process.
When to seek medical attention or see a physical therapist?
If the swelling and pain are severe or there is difficulty in bearing weight then medical attention is required. X-rays need to be taken to check the existence of any fractures. To reduce inflammation, medications can be prescribed.
A physical therapist is required when the damage to the ligaments can be restored through a surgery or needs an expedient recovery.
The ligament surgeries are done with a minimally invasive technique and are performed on an outpatient basis.
Ankle joint injuries
Instability of the ankle like recurrent sprains led to ankle joint injuries. In medical terms, they are known as osteochondral lesions of the talus or osteochondral defects and they can lead to arthritis if not treated on time.
An MRI is used to diagnose these injuries and a surgery is needed to heal the ankle. For such cases taking treatment from an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon specialist is always advisable.
To get reliable treatment and to prevent further complications in your ankle injuries and sprains get in touch with us today. Our Kids Orthopedic Clinic takes care of all such injuries with ease.