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Sprained Ankle: Symptoms and Treatment - Legacy ER

  • Category: Injuries
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jay Woody
Sprained Ankle: Symptoms and Treatment - Legacy ER

Ankles contain strong ligaments that connect the foot bones with the bones in the lower leg. Ligaments protect and stabilize the ankle joint; when they become stretched or torn, it results in a sprained ankle.

The ankle ligaments perform vital functions, including the following:

  • Absorbing shock from walking or running
  • Holding the footbones in the proper position
  • Preventing twisting and unnatural folding
  • Preventing the ankle from moving in directions that could cause injury

There are three main ligament groups in the ankle:

  • Medial or deltoid ligament
  • Lateral ligaments
  • Syndesmotic ligaments

Diagnosing a sprained ankle and starting treatment immediately is crucial in ensuring a complete recovery and minimizing the risk of complications.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

If the ankle bends or twists inward, stretching or tearing the ligaments, the following symptoms may arise:

  • Swelling
  • Weakness and inability to place weight on the ankle
  • Bruising and discoloration
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness

If the ankle is numb or tender when touching the ankle bone, it is likely fractured and not just sprained.

Sprained Ankle Causes

Ankle injuries are usually a result of high-impact sports or walking in ill-fitting or unstable shoes. Other causes of sprained ankles include the following:

  • Falling
  • Jumping and twisting the ankle on landing
  • Moving too fast over an uneven surface and rolling the ankle
  • Hard impact during a motor vehicle accident
  • Existing ankle injury

Diagnosing a Sprained Ankle

To diagnose a sprained ankle, the doctor must examine the ankle and foot, even though it may be painful. The exam includes the doctor pressing his fingers lightly around the ankle to check for torn or stretched ligaments.

The doctor will also slowly rotate the ankle to check the range of motion. After it’s established that no ankle bones are broken, the doctor will grade the sprain and advise on treatment options.

X-rays and MRI scans are typically requested for severe injuries to check for cartilage or joint damage.

sprained ankle treatment

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Sprained ankle treatment for minor injuries includes the following:

  • R.I.C.E. method: rest, ice, compression, elevation
  • Anti-inflammatory pain medicine

Severe ankle sprains may require a cast brace for two weeks. When an ankle is seriously injured, it will hurt and stay swollen for up to three days. A cast brace will help stabilize and protect the ankle as the inflammation subsides and the ligaments begin to heal.

It may take around two weeks for the ankle to become stable again, but it may be several months before the patient can resume normal activities, including sports.

Patients with severe ankle sprains must undergo physical therapy or maintenance exercises to strengthen the ligaments.

Preventing a Sprained Ankle

Around 25,000 Americans sprain their ankle every day. This number can be reduced by implementing measures to prevent sprained ankles:

  • Balance exercises: Proper balance helps prevent injuries. Physical therapy exercises help improve balance and protect the ankles against injury.
  • Core exercises: A lack of core strength causes the body to push its weight over the limits that feet and ankles can bear. The chance of a rolled or sprained ankle is minimal when the body’s core is strong.
  • Ankle exercises: Exercises designed to strengthen and improve ankle flexibility make it easy to control body positioning and weight distribution. These exercises help prevent sprained or rolled ankle injuries.

Visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care for Sprained Ankle Treatment

Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to meet your medical care needs by providing affordable pricing and quality care. As part of Intuitive Health’s innovative hybrid model ER and urgent care system, patients are only billed for the level of care they receive from professional and highly trained medical staff. With six facilities located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, emergent and non-emergent care are accessible and transparent, focusing on superb customer service.

Legacy ER

Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations in the DFW area:

  • Allen – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 1310 W. Exchange Pkwy Allen, TX 75013, and may be reached at 972-526-5819.
  • Coppell – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 330 S Denton Tap Rd Coppell, TX 75019 and may be reached at 469-702-9917.
  • Frisco East – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 16151 Eldorado Pkwy Frisco, TX 75035 and may be reached at 972-526-7009.
  • Frisco West – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 9205 Legacy Dr. Frisco, TX 75033, and may be reached at 972-526-7020.
  • McKinney – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 2810 Hardin Blvd McKinney, TX 75072 and may be reached at 972-573-6688.
  • North Richland Hills – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 8950 N. Tarrant Pkwy North Richland Hills, TX 76182, and may be reached at 817-663-1247