An ankle sprain is an injury that can happen when you turn or twist your ankle in a stroppy way. The injury occurs to the ligaments which are the tough bands of tissue that help hold your ankle bones together and prevent excessive movement.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle or ligament is forced to move out of its normal motion position causing it to stretch, partially tear or completely tear.
Causes of an Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain usually results from a physical activity when you suddenly twist, turn or receive a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. They most commonly occur when participating in sports.
Causes of a sprained ankle include:
- Exercising or walking on an uneven surface
- A fall that can cause the ankle to twist
- Landing awkwardly on your foot after pivoting or jumping
- Wearing inappropriate shoes
- Another individual landing or stepping on your foot
Ankle sprains can also occur when someone is born with weak ankles or if you have had previous foot or ankle injuries.
Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain
The following are some of the common symptoms of an ankle sprain:
- Skin discoloration
- Stiffness in the joint
- Difficulty walking
Diagnosis of an Ankle Sprain
Your physician will first examine your lower leg, foot and ankle then look for points of tenderness and check the range of motions. He/she might recommend one or more of the following tests so as to evaluate in detail the extent of the ligament damage and make a proper diagnosis.
- X-ray: This test will check for any bone fractures
- CT scan: This test takes x-rays from different angles and combines them to make 3-D images revealing more details about bones at the joint
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI uses strong magnetic field or radio waves to produce detailed images of the ligaments and other soft internal structures.
Treatment of Ankle Sprains
The treatment for a sprained ankles largely depends on the severity of the injury. It mainly aims to reduce swelling and pain, help in healing the ligament and restore function to the ankle.
The treatments include:
- I.C.E which stands for Resting your ankle, Ice the ankle for about 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours while awake, Compressing the ankle to help stop the swelling but do not wrap the bandage too tightly, and Elevate the ankle to reduce swelling and to allow excessive fluids to drain.
- Pain medication to manage the pain
- Crutches if need be to support the ankle
- Therapy once the pain has gone down so as to restore the ankle’s strength, range of motion, stability and flexibility
- Surgery might be performed in rare cases when the injury takes too long to heal. It can be performed to:
- Repair a ligament that refuses to heal
- Reconstruct a ligament
At King’s College Hospital Dubai, we focus on offering an exemplary service, from initial consultation through to final diagnosis and treatment and beyond. Our team of expert doctors and nurses are here to offer tailored management and treatment of your condition, and to answer any questions that you might have throughout your time with us. Whatever you need us for, we’re only a phone-call away.
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