Ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopedic injuries and are not only relegated to athletes. In many cases, a slip and fall or a missed step can cause an ankle sprain. If this injury occurs, it is important to have the ankle examined by an orthopedic specialist/foot and ankle specialist as some sprains can be more severe than others. Below are 3 important things to know about ankle sprains.
1. Ankle Sprains are divided into three categories depending upon the severity:
Almost 90% of all ankle sprains are lateral sprains. Sprains in which the ankle is rolled outward and foot rolls inward. The severity of the sprain is based on the amount of injury to the ligaments on the lateral part of the ankle.
- Grade 1 sprain: Slight stretching and some damage to the fibers of the ligaments.
- Grade 2 sprain: Partial tearing of the ligament(s).
- Grade 3 sprain: Complete tear of one more more of the lateral ligament(s).
2. The risk of spraining your ankle increases after your first ankle sprain and with each subsequent sprain
The ligaments of the ankle function much like an elastic band and each time they are stretched (as a result of a sprain) they may become weaker. As these ligaments weaken, they become much more susceptible to repeat injury. It is important to have this injury diagnosed quickly so that your physician can create a treatment protocol that can help expedite recovery. For athletes, an ankle brace is often recommended to be worn after the injury when returning to their sport to prevent the ankle from sustaining further injury.
3. Chronic ankle sprains can lead to damage of the ankle ligament
Studies have shown that those with repeated ankle sprains are more likely to develop a condition known as “chronic ankle instability”. With this condition, the ligaments of the ankle have become stretched to the point where they are no longer able to maintain enough tension to maintain normal strength in the ankle. This condition has also been linked to the potential on-set of arthritis in the ankle. This condition also leads to chronic pain and weakness of the ankle often making it difficult to return to pre-injury or normal activities.
If you, or someone you know, has suffered an ankle injury it is important to have the injury addressed quickly. We are able to quickly and effectively diagnose the severity of the sprain using on-site imaging and a team of Orthopedic Specialists. Unlike traditional urgent care, we specialize in orthopedic injuries and is staffed by Orthopedic Specialists. Located in Wall, NJ, we can save you the time, cost and hassle of an Emergency Room visit.