Every day in America, at least 23,000 people experience an ankle sprain requiring medical care. Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries in both athletes and inactive individuals. No matter how your ankle sprain occurs, you need help to properly heal the damaged ligament. At Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center in Prescott, Arizona, expert podiatrists Todd Cox, DPM, and Blake Peterson, DPM, diagnose and treat your ankle sprain immediately on-site, so don’t wait to get help. Call the office or schedule an appointment online.
An ankle sprain is an injury in a ligament, the connective tissue that links bones together. If your ankle twists or bends out of position, the ligaments stretch or tear.
Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe. An ankle sprain isn't an ankle fracture or broken bone, but it can cause serious symptoms that feel just as bad.
The symptoms of a sprained ankle vary with injury severity.
A grade 1 ankle sprain involves mild ligament stretching along with microtears in the ligament fibers. It causes slight tenderness and ankle swelling.
A grade 2 ankle sprain involves a partial ligament tear. It causes moderate discomfort and swelling. With a grade 2 ankle sprain, you can also have some ankle instability.
A grade 3 ankle sprain, the most severe, occurs with a complete ligament tear. It causes serious pain and swelling, and significant ankle instability is common.
If you have any of these symptoms, get off your foot immediately and come into Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center for urgent care. Ankle sprains generally worsen if you continue to walk without treatment.
Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center starts by evaluating the sprain with an on-site diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound. The ultrasound reveals sprain severity and helps to guide treatment.
Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may need the following treatments:
After you recover, Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center helps you stay healthy with injury prevention techniques such as wearing optimal footwear for each activity, regular ankle strengthening exercises, orthotics, and proper protective equipment when you exercise.
Ankle sprain healing can take anywhere from two weeks to three months, depending on the grade of your ankle sprain. A gradual return to full activity is the best way to encourage optimal natural healing, so your foot and ankle specialist creates a customized plan for fast but safe recovery.
When you suspect an ankle sprain, start the healing process immediately for a fast recovery. Call Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center or click the online scheduler.