How to Keep a Sprained Ankle From becoming Chronically Unstable

An ankle injury can be something as simple as a sprain. This can occur if you twist or turn your ankle in the wrong way and damage the ligaments. If not treated properly, it can lead to chronic ankle instability. 

If you have a sprained ankle, Jonathan Shults, MD, at Coastal Empire Orthopedics in Savannah, Georgia, can fully examine your sprain and put you on the best course to healing. 

Know the symptoms of a sprained ankle

You can sprain your ankle if you stretch or tear a ligament. You are more likely to suffer a sprain if you move a joint beyond its normal range of motion. If you have a sprained ankle, your injury may exhibit many symptoms, including:

Not getting help may lead to chronic issues, such as consistent pain. Furthermore, when an ankle is weak, it’s more susceptible to twisting again and getting reinjured. If you have another sprain within six months of the first injury, your ankle instability is now considered chronic.

Care for your ankle at home

Until you’re able to have Dr. Shults examine your sprain, you should treat your ankle with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation:

Rest

Stay off your injured foot as much as you can. Just rest and take it easy.

Ice

Wrap ice or something frozen in a towel and put it on your ankle. Ice will reduce the swelling and pain.

Compression

Wrap the area with a soft bandage. This will reduce swelling and give your ankle support.

Elevation

Keep your foot elevated, and if possible, above your heart. This will also reduce swelling. 

Treat your sprained ankle before it becomes a chronic condition

A person who suffers a severe ankle sprain will have a 10-20% chance of the ankle remaining unstable. If the ligaments have been overstretched or injured severely, you may require surgery. At Coastal Empire Orthopedics, Dr. Shults will consider nonsurgical treatments first. He may try various approaches, including:

Physiotherapy and physical therapy can help you manage your pain, deal with your current injury, and prevent future injury. The goal is to make your ankle stable again, improve its strength and balance, and get back your range of motion. And if you play a particular sport, Dr. Shults can create an exercise plan to get you back to your best. 

If you do require surgery, Dr. Shults can develop a plan to help in your recovery. Physical therapy can help you heal faster and become active sooner. 

Don’t wait to see if your ankle gets worse. If you have an ankle sprain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Coastal Empire Orthopedics today.

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