From slipping and falling to the impact of a midfield collision, spraining your ankle can lead to issues with pain, swelling, and mobility. At Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center, the board-certified team knows that many ankle sprains heal on their own and understands that severe cases may require intervention to heal correctly. If you live in or near Sarasota, Florida, call the orthopedic foot and ankle specialists who strive for fast turnarounds and exceptional care today to schedule your appointment or go online to book.

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What is a sprained ankle?

When you sprain your ankle, a ligament — the fibrous structure that connects one bone to another — stretches or, in extreme cases, tears. Your ligaments provide structure and support for the ankle joint and play a vital role in ankle mobility. A torn ligament leads to instability, discomfort, and a limited range of motion.

Sprained ankles are common injuries among athletes and active individuals and range from mild to severe.

What are the symptoms of a sprained ankle?

When you have a sprained ankle, your symptoms depend on the severity of your sprain.

Grade one

Mild sprains, classified as grade one, may develop bruising and swelling. The ankle becomes sore, but you’re able to move it and bear weight.

Grade two

Moderate ankle sprains, or grade two sprains, have significant swelling and bruising, and it’s often difficult to walk on the injured joint.

Grade three

Grade three sprains tear the whole way through the ligament, and there’s no ankle stability or weight bearing ability. Bruising and inflammation are extreme, and pain and discomfort can become overwhelming.

How are sprained ankles treated?

At Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center (FLOFAC), your orthopedic foot and ankle specialist treats your sprain with the most effective, minimally invasive care possible. Many sprains respond well to a RICE protocol:

  • Rest: Stay off your ankle, and rest without strain or stress
  • Ice: Use cold packs on your sprained joint to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Compression: Wear a compression bandage to increase stability and decrease swelling
  • Elevation: Raise the injured ankle above your heart when resting

When your ankle sprain is severe, home treatments like RICE aren’t effective. Your doctor may recommend immobilizing the ankle by wearing a cast, brace, or ankle boot. They may also suggest crutches, so you’re not bearing weight on the injury, or participate in physical therapy.

If your ligament tears completely, you may need surgery, most often an arthroscopy. Your doctor discusses the surgical process with you and what to expect during and after the procedure.

After spraining your ankle, it’s critical to receive the proper care to prevent further damage. Call FLOFAC today or go online to schedule your initial consultation.