Are Recurring Ankle Sprains a Big Deal?

I sprain my ankle a few times a year, so what? Is it really that bad to sprain an ankle? The answer—yes. Here’s a quick look at why spraining your ankle can be a very serious thing…

Ankle Structure

Your ankle is a complicated structure held together with bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Ligaments are particularly important as they connect bone to bone and help things move properly. A sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched too far or even torn. In ankle sprains, this most often happens to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. 

The Long-Term

Along with the short-term pain and swelling that might occur directly after a sprain, there are long-term consequences if the sprain is not treated properly or if sprains reoccur. You may think there’s nothing to worry about when the pain goes away (usually after a week or so). But ankle sprains left untreated are more likely to develop arthritis or remain unstable.

Treatment Now

The best way to treat a recurring ankle sprain is to see a podiatrist within the first few days after the sprain occurs. While many people believe that rest, ice, compression, and elevation are all that is needed, many patients do not follow these steps properly, leaving the ankle open to reinjury. Your foot doctor will evaluate your sprain and put together a treatment plan with specific instructions to get you back on your feet sooner. 

Surgical Solutions

In the case of a ligament tear, a surgical solution may be necessary to repair the damaged tissue. Your FAAWC surgeon will perform a thorough examination with testing before suggesting the proper surgical plan for your injury. The more often you re-sprain your ankle, the more likely a surgical solution will be necessary in the future.

If you experience a recurring ankle sprain, call the FAAWC at 740.363.4373 for an urgent appointment or drop by during our walk-in hours on Fridays from 12-3pm. 

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