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Sprained Ankle & Foot Sprain Treatment in Houston

Sprains

Sprained ankles can occur to anyone; athletes and non-athletes, children and adults. You may sprain your ankle while taking part in physical activities or while stepping on uneven surfaces.

They occur when the foot twists in an abnormal motion and the foot ligaments stretch beyond their normal range and may also tear. With excessive force placed on the foot, you may also hear a ‘pop’, accompanied with pain and swelling.

Based on the amount of force on the foot, sprains are divided into mild, moderate and severe sprains. In case of mild sprains, there is some stretching and damage to ligament fibers. Moderate sprains occur with a partial tearing of ligament and in case of severe ones, the ligament completely tears.

Diagnosis

Doctors will order an x-ray to ensure there are no broken bones in the foot as they too have similar pain and swelling. If there are no broken bones, the intensity of the sprain is determined by the amount of swelling, pain and bruising on the foot.

As the doctor has to move the ankle in various ways to find out which ligament has torn, the physical examination may be painful. If there is a possibility of severe injury to ligaments, the doctor may also order an MRI to make the right diagnosis.

Symptoms

The amount of pain due to a strain depends on how much the ligament has torn and there will be instability with complete tearing of the ligament or dislocation of the ankle joint.

Non-surgical treatment

It may be difficult to walk because of the pain and swelling which may last two to three days. If required, the doctor may advise removal plastic cast boots or air splints for support to the joint. Sprains take about four to six weeks to heal, where you may be suggested to incorporate some motion to prevent stiffness of the joint.

In case of mild sprains, rest, ice compress for half an hour four times a day, compression dressings and elevation of the ankle for two days helps in healing. The same treatment is suggested for moderate and severe sprains; additionally, devices and leg casts may be suggested to immobilize the ankle.

In addition to this, the doctor will advise rehabilitation to reduce pain and swelling through ultrasound, electrical stimulation and water exercises. To help control pain and inflammation, the doctor may also advise non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Surgical treatment

Very rarely, doctors may suggest surgery in cases where there is no response to non-surgical treatment and if there is persistent instability for months. Surgical options include arthroscopy to look for loose bone or cartilage fragments and reconstruction where the surgeon repairs ligaments using stitches or other ligaments.

If sprains are not recognized or treated, it may lead to chronic pain and instability.

Other Podiatry Conditions Treated

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