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Ankle Sprain: What To Do When It Happens To You

Ankle sprains are the one of most common sports injuries. A casual misstep can cause the ankle to roll or twist unnaturally, straining the ligaments. Most of us have experienced a minor sprain at some point in our lives. Often these sprains will heal themselves with a little time and rest; however, more serious sprains require special care to get you back on your feet!  Keep these tips in mind:

  • Initial treatment of an ankle sprain should involve limiting pain and swelling.sports-injury-free-play-matthew-boes

  • Limit the amount of weight you put on the ankle for the first few days if you find it difficult to walk on it. Crutches may be helpful.

  • Elevate the ankle above the level of your heart as often as possible in the days following the sprain.

  • Limit your activity – excessive activity will only lead to more pain.

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (i.e., Motrin or Aleve) used regularly are effective at eliminating pain and/or swelling.

  • Once the pain subsides, you can resume light daily activity.

  • A brace or ankle support may be helpful.

  • Physical therapy may be helpful to improve range of motion, strengthen the ankle and limit recurrence of ankle sprains.

Most pain from ankle sprains will resolve in 4-6 weeks; however, it is not uncommon to feel discomfort with certain activities for up to 6-8 months. Any activity that aggravates ankle pain should be avoided to encourage healing.
If symptoms persist or if you are not able to comfortably put weight on your ankle in the first few days after the injury, consult your doctor for further evaluation. Call orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Matthew T. Boes today!

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