It’s winter in New England and we all know what that means for the Boston area: freezing temperatures and icy steps and pavement—the perfect conditions for slipping and twisting your ankle. The ligaments in your ankle are like giant rubber bands. Those bands connect bones and joints. When they are suddenly and severely twisted out of place it causes excessive stretching and sometimes even tearing of these ligaments.
Sprain Treatment is Important
Ankle sprains can be of varying degrees of severity but all sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon. The tell tale symptoms of an ankle sprain are pain, along with swelling and bruising of the ankle. However, for people who have sprained ankles repeatedly, the symptoms may be less noticeable. Delayed or inappropriate treatment of an ankle sprain can lead to serious long-term problems. Prompt treatment is necessary for the following reasons:
- Oftentimes at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we find that another, more severe injury, such as a bone fracture has occurred at the same time as the sprain, which would result in serious damage and disability if the patient had not come in
- The appropriate treatment and rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to begin immediately after the sprain to ensure complete and proper healing
- Ankle sprains that do not receive treatment often do not heal fully and this leads to chronic ankle instability and repeated sprains which further weakens the ankle
Our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will first conduct a thorough examination of your ankle and foot and also get a medical history from you, including the circumstances of the sprain. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered to determine how bad the sprain is and to check for fractures or other injuries. Once the foot doctor has determined the severity of the sprain, the proper treatment will be prescribed. It will most likely include the RICE regimen: rest, ice, compression, and elevation and physical therapy as soon as possible. If the sprain is very bad or you have had multiple sprains in the past, surgery may be required.