Sprained ankles aren't always minor injuries. In fact, they carry the possibility of leading to permanent ankle instability or arthritis in some cases if untreated. Fortunately, your Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Sara Bouraee offers the care you need to recover from ankle sprains, as well as a host of other podiatric injuries and conditions.
What causes an ankle sprain?
Ankle sprains occur when there is a tear or overstretching of the ligament that connects the bones in your ankle joint. Sprains are grouped into three categories:
- Grade One: These mild sprains occur if you experience slight stretching or tearing. Although the sprains can be a little painful, they usually heal in a week or two.
- Grade Two: Grade two sprains involve partial tearing of the ligament. In addition to causing more pain and swelling, these sprains can also make your ankle a little unstable while the sprain heals.
- Grade Three: These severe sprains are very painful and occur when the ligament tears completely. You may find it difficult to put any pressure on the ankle due to joint instability.
How can a foot doctor help?
Depending on the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist may recommend:
- Compression Bandages: The bandages help reduce swelling and stiffness.
- Tape, Braces or Walking Boots: Taping your ankle or wearing a brace or boot helps support and stabilize your ankle.
- Pain Relief Methods: Ice and over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can be helpful in controlling pain.
- Crutches: Crutches relieve pressure on your ankle, allowing for the proper amount of healing to take place. These support devices often prove to be a necessity if your injury is very painful or your ankle has become unstable.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy sessions improve the strength and stability of both your ankle and the muscles that support it. The exercises you learn will help you improve your range of motion and increase flexibility.
- Surgery: Most people who have sprained ankles don't need surgery. However, it may be recommended if your ankle is still unstable after physical therapy or isn't healing well.
In pain? Give us a call
Prompt treatment is important for painful ankle sprains. Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist in Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, Dr. Sara Bouraee by calling (757) 220-3311 for the Williamsburg, VA, office or (757) 224-7605 for the Hampton office.