Signs You've Sprained Your Ankle

By Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, LLC
January 23, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

Ankle sprains are extremely common, with an estimated 25,000 people experiencing these injuries every day. (That's 9 million sprains each sprained ankleyear!) The podiatrists at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Cherrie Cindric and Dr. Todd Cindric, see many patients in Irwin and Greensburg, PA who are part of these statistics. More information about sprains and their signs and symptoms is included in this post.

What is a sprained ankle?

The bones that make up your ankle joint are held together with ligaments, tough bands of tissue that allow for movement and flexibility. A sprain happens when these ligaments are stretched beyond their normal capacity, such as when you twist your ankle playing sports or slipping on ice. Sprains are classified by grades 1, 2, and 3. Grade 1 is a mild sprain, with some damage to the ligaments but no lasting effects on the joint. Grade 2 means that the ligament has sustained a partial tear. Grade 3 indicates a total tear to the ligament, which causes instability to the joint and makes walking difficult or impossible. An evaluation from your Irwin and Greensburg podiatrist will determine the grade of your sprain.

What are some signs of a sprained ankle?

  • Pain. This is the most obvious symptom of a sprain, and its severity can help you and your podiatrist figure out the degree of the injury. For example, if your ankle aches but you are able to put weight on it, it's probably a grade 1 sprain. However, if you cannot put any weight on it and the pain is intense, you may have sustained a grade 3 sprain.
  • Bruising. A sprain will often cause the body to respond with increased blood flow to the area, resulting in large bruises on the foot and ankle. As with pain, the degree of bruising often helps indicate the sprain's severity.
  • Swelling. The body's immune system also sends other fluids to the sprained area to aid in cushioning and healing, so swelling is a common sign of a sprain as well.

A sprain that is improperly treated can put you at risk for chronic ankle instability, or CAI, and can increase the likelihood that you'll sprain your ankle again. That's why, regardless of symptoms, it's important to contact Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care if you think you've sprained your ankle. A professional evaluation at one of our offices in Greensburg or Irwin, PA can help you return to normal safely!

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