What You Should Know About Ankle Sprains

You are surprised at the pain when you roll your ankle during a soccer game, or turn your ankle while hiking. What should you do?

Ankle sprains are incredibly common injuries and based on the statistics, there’s about a one in four chance that you’ll sprain your ankle at some point in your life. While an ankle sprain might be common—it’s the most commonly diagnosed musculoskeletal injury in the U.S.—that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious or should be ignored. In fact, if you let an ankle sprain heal incorrectly without proper treatment, it can lead to chronic joint and tendon problems later in life.

About 25,000 people sprain their ankles each day in the United States. It is more common among young athletes and older adults, especially those who are overweight or have certain medical conditions.

Ankle sprains occur when something pulls or twists your ankle out of place, causing damage to ligaments that connect bone to bone. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on how much this happens — if only a few small ligaments get pulled, then you may only have mild swelling and bruising which will go away within a few days with treatment. However if too many ligaments get damaged at once, then this can cause severe swelling and pain that lasts longer than just a week or two.

The most common ankle injury is a lateral ankle sprain, which involves damage to the outside of your ankle. A lateral ankle sprain occurs when you land on your foot in an awkward position after jumping or tripping, causing your foot to turn inward. An upward force to the outside of your foot can also cause a lateral ankle sprain.

A medial ankle sprain is less common than a lateral ankle sprain and occurs when you roll onto the inside of your foot, causing it to hyper-extend beyond its normal range of motion and possibly tearing ligaments around the inside portion of your lower leg bone (tibia). The most common cause for this type of injury is walking on uneven ground while wearing high heels with poor posture or balance skills.

Ankle sprains happen most often during sports like basketball, football or soccer but also happen due to many other activities like hiking, dancing or playing – softball.

After you experience an ankle sprain, you’ll most likely feel pain and swelling in the area. You may also have bruises on the outer part of your ankle. Other signs that you have a sprained ankle include being unable to put weight on your injured foot and tenderness or pain when you touch that area. These same signs may indicate an ankle fracture, so it is important to have a medical evaluation. 

If you suspect you’ve sprained or fractured your ankle, you should immediately stabilize it – with an Ace wrap and apply a cold compress over the wrap and seek medical treatment right away. A health care professional may perform an x-ray to determine if a bone is broken. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your injury and whether any bones were broken.

At Mountain View Urgent Care, we are prepared to provide immediate treatment for ankle sprains and fractures including X-Rays, walking casts and boots, and crutches as needed. We can also make referrals to further care like Orthopedic specialists and Physical Therapists as needed.

We understand that when you or your family member is sick or injured, you need quality care fast. That’s why we’re here for you six days a week at our convenient location at 3521 Mountain View Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508.  

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