Repeated ankle sprains are serious! The more you sprain an ankle, the less stable the ankle becomes. Turning the ankle repeatedly can even lead to damage of the cartilage inside the ankle joint.
What is an ankle sprain?
- An ankle sprain refers to the tearing of the ligament(s) of the ankle. Most commonly it occurs on the outside of the ankle, but can happen on the inside of the ankle too. An ankle sprain can happen in a variety of ways, including during playing sports like soccer and even just stepping down on a stair wrong. Sprains usually occur because of an inversion injury, which means the foot rolls underneath the ankle or leg.
What are the symptoms of ankle sprain?
- Symptoms include pain on the outside of the ankle and various degrees of swelling and bruising. Depending on the severity of the sprain, a person may or may not be able to put weight on the foot.
What are the risk factors for an ankle sprain?
- Some people are more at risk for an ankle sprain due to their foot type, which effects the stability of their ankles. If you’ve had an ankle sprain before, it puts you at risk for another one! Other risk factors are sports like soccer, basketball, tennis where the athlete can come down and turn the ankle easily.
What are treatment options?
- PRICE, immobilization in a boot or brace, and physical therapy. Very rarely is surgery needed.
- PRICE is:
- Protect the ankle in a brace, boot, or ace wrap
- Rest the ankle
- Ice the ankle with an ice pack
- Compress with ankle sleeve or ACE wrap
- Elevate with pillows above heart level
How do I prevent an ankle sprain?
- One of the best ways to avoid another ankle sprain is to wear an ankle brace during the activity, to give the foot and ankle stability while you run. Doing physical therapy exercises for the muscles of the leg helps with overall strength and stability of the ankle.