Spraining an ankle is a very common injury, and it's one that podiatrist Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, diagnoses and treats very frequently. Below, he explains what happens when you sprain your ankle, as well as some signs that could indicate you need treatment.
What is a sprain?
A sprained ankle happens when the foot makes contact with the ground in a way that causes the ligaments (the bands of tissue that stretch between bones) within the ankle to be stretched beyond their normal capacity. Sprains can be mild to severe; your Woodbridge podiatrist will carefully examine your sprain to determine its classification. People most commonly turn their ankle outward, which is known as an inversion or lateral sprain; between 70 and 85 percent of sprains are of this type.
How do I know if I've sprained my ankle?
- Pain-This is due to the damage that your ligament sustained when you twisted it. A grade 1 ankle sprain means mild stress on the ligament, a grade 2 means that the ligament has sustained a partial tear and has loosened, while a grade 3, the most severe, indicates that the ligament has been completely torn. The degree of pain you have with a sprain often correlates with the grade your Woodbridge podiatrist will assign to it.
- Bruising-The body's immune system responds to a sprain by sending more blood flow to the area. This translates into bruising, which can be significant if your ankle has sustained a severe sprain.
- Instability-As with bruising and pain, the way your ankle feels when you try to put weight on it can be indicative of how much damage has been done to the ligaments. If you are unable to bear any weight on the ankle at all, it needs to be evaluated immediately.
If you think you've sprained your ankle, or you have questions about treatment, contact Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, for an appointment with Dr. Ranieri today!