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Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains Specialist

in Los Angeles

Ankle sprains are a common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle is turned in an unnatural position, causing the ligaments to stretch or tear. If you are dealing with a sprained ankle, contact Dr. Elhiani today!

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What is a sprained ankle?

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. Ligaments are a set of strong, connecting bands of tissue that bind the bones together. Ankle sprains come in two primary types:

  • Inversion: This type of sprain occurs when the foot rolls inward, stretching or tearing the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
  • Eversion: The ligaments inside the ankle are stretched or torn when the foot slides outward, causing this kind of sprain.

Ankle sprains can be minor or severe, depending on the degree of damage to the ligaments. Most ankle sprains will heal with rest, ice, elevation, and over-the-counter pain medications. However, severe ankle sprains may require physical therapy or even surgery. If you are suffering from a sprained ankle schedule an appointment with Dr. Elhiani at Eazy Foot & Ankle and get back on your feet!

What are the symptoms of a sprained ankle?

An ankle sprain will have different symptoms depending on how bad the injury is. However, the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain: This is usually the most severe symptom and can range from a dull ache to sharp, throbbing pain.
  • Swelling: This is caused by fluid buildup in the tissues around the ankle joint and can range from mild to severe.
  • Bruising: This is caused by bleeding under the skin and can appear as a black-and-blue mark.
  • Difficulty walking: This can be caused by pain, swelling, or both. In severe cases, it may be impossible to walk without assistance.

    Instability: The joint may feel weak when the ligament is completely torn.

What causes a sprained ankle?

Ankle sprains are most often caused by a sudden change in direction or a fall. This can occur when the foot is turned inwards (inversion) or outwards (eversion). Other causes include:

  • Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Walking or running on uneven surfaces
  • Participating in sports that involve sudden changes in direction, such as basketball or tennis

Weak muscles or ligaments can also cause ankle sprains. This weakness can make the joint more susceptible to injury.

How is a sprained ankle diagnosed?

The diagnosis of an ankle sprain is usually made based on the symptoms and a physical examination. Dr. Elhiani will check for swelling, bruising, and discomfort. He will also ask you about the injury and whether you have ever previously suffered from ankle issues.

Ankle sprains can also be diagnosed using imaging tests. These tests can help rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as fractures. Imaging tests include:

  • X-ray: This test produces images of the bones and can show whether there is a fracture.
  • MRI: This test uses magnetic waves to produce detailed images of the soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons.
  • CT scan: This test produces cross-sectional images of the ankle.
  • Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to produce images of the soft tissues.

After conducting some tests, Dr. Elhiani will grade your ankle sprain based on how severe the damage is. Below are the three main types of ankle sprains:

  • Grade I: This is a mild sprain that results in stretching and some tearing of the ligaments. There is usually only minimal pain, swelling, and bruising.
  • Grade II: This is a moderate sprain that results in more severe tearing of the ligaments. There is usually more pain, swelling, and bruising.
  • Grade III: This is a severe sprain that results in a complete tear of the ligaments. There is usually severe pain, swelling, and bruising.

How is a sprained ankle treated?

The treatment for an ankle sprain will depend on the severity of the injury. Most ankle sprains are treatable at home with a few straightforward self-care techniques. However, severe ankle sprains may require physical therapy or even surgery.

Home care:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that put stress on your ankle, such as running or jumping.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the injured ankle for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Compression: Use an elastic bandage or compression sock to help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep your ankle elevated above the level of your heart to help reduce swelling.

Medical treatment:

  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help improve your range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the ankle.
  • Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a torn ligament or tendon.
  • Ankle Braces: Wearing an ankle brace can help support the joint and prevent further injury.

Ankle sprains usually heal within a few weeks with home care and self-care measures. However, it is important to seek proper treatment to ensure a speedy and full recovery.

Don’t let ankle sprains keep you from living your life. Get the treatment you need from Dr.Elhiani at Eazy Foot & Ankle and start feeling better today.