Sprained ankles are a common podiatric injury. While athletes often suffer from sprained ankles sustained while playing sports, any sudden twisting, turning, or rolling of the ankle at an awkward angle can lead to an ankle sprain. Risk factors that increase your likelihood of an ankle injury include walking or running on uneven surfaces, having a poor physical condition, wearing high heels, and having a history of prior ankle injuries.
When your ankle is sprained, the ligaments that support the ankle joint and connect the bones to each other are overstretched or torn. This can result in symptoms such as ankle pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, a restricted range of motion, and ankle instability. It may become difficult or even impossible to walk, and without taking time to fully recover, repeated ankle sprains are more likely to occur.
Various treatment methods may be recommended to treat your ankle sprain. Less severe injuries can often be treated with conservative measures like resting, elevating, compressing, and icing the affected ankle. Over-the-counter pain medications can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. More severe ankle sprains may require immobilizing the ankle and wearing a bandage, sports tape, support brace, cast, or walking boot to stabilize the ankle. Performing certain ankle exercises can help strengthen and heal the ankle during recovery and prevent future injuries. In rare cases where all other treatments have failed, surgery may be recommended. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.