Accidents are unfortunately a normal part of life — but that’s not much consolation when one leaves you injured.
Whether you hurt yourself sliding into home plate, or you stepped wrong off a curb, ankle injuries are very common. A sprained ankle can hurt quite a lot, and then lead to further damage if it’s not property treated.
At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our team has the expertise to treat any type of injury you sustain in your day-to-day life. Our team consists of board certified orthopedic surgeons who are experts in all types of injuries, including ankle sprains.
Symptoms of a sprained ankle
It’s hard to overstate the importance of your ankle joint, as it allows you to walk properly and participate in physical activities like running and jumping. However, because your ankle also bears a majority of your weight throughout the day, it’s prone to injury.
Ankle sprains occur when you turn your ankle, or roll it, in an unnatural way. This stresses the tough ligaments that give your ankle stability. When you sprain your ankle, the symptoms occur because these ligaments either are stretched further than normal, or they tear. The result is pain in your ankle, along with other symptoms, such as:
- Trouble bearing weight
If you’ve suffered an ankle sprain, you may also notice that your range of motion is decreased in the affected ankle. Pain usually occurs on the outer part of your ankle, because these ligaments are more likely to be injured.
The severity of your symptoms depends on how many ligaments were involved.
Diagnosing the injury
If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, it’s a good idea to seek treatment as soon as you can. This helps to prevent further injury to the ankle and related problems down the road.
When you come into our office for an appointment, our doctors talk to you about how you injured your ankle, along with what symptoms you’re experiencing. They also examine the affected ankle, and ask you where your pain is.
Once they’ve done a thorough exam, our doctors also use imaging to see the extent of the injury within your ankle. Imaging tests include:
- CAT scans
Sometimes, you need more than one type of imaging, depending on the severity of your strain and whether other structures in your ankle were involved. After our doctors have all of the information and imaging studies, they suggest treatment options for your ankle.
What treatments are going to help?
Treatments for a sprained ankle vary and depend greatly on how severe your ligaments have been hurt. Sometimes, all a sprained ankle needs is some home care. If this is the case, our doctors may have you use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for about three days after your injury.
This may be enough to decrease the symptoms in your ankle. However, if our doctors think your injury is more severe, they suggest more aggressive treatments, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices
In severe cases, our doctors recommend surgical repair of the injured ligaments in your ankle. Because surgery is invasive and comes with more risk than conservative treatments, it’s our last resort treatment when no other therapies help.
Our doctors perform both ligament repairs and ligament reconstructions for a sprained ankle. The type of surgery is determined by which ligaments are torn and what type of shape they’re in. Surgical repair gives your ankle the stability it needs to get back to normal.
If you think you’ve suffered a sprained ankle, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic at 1850 Sullivan #330 Daly City, CA at 650-756-5630. You may also call our other location in Daly City or our office in Atherton at the same number, 650-756-5630, to schedule an appointment today, or you can book your consultation online.