Treatment of Ankle Sprain
At Sideline Orthopedics, we will diagnose your ankle sprain by performing a careful examination of your foot and ankle. This physical exam will include:
- Testing of strength and stability.
- Palpation, or gentle pressing, of the ankle and the area surrounding it to determine which ligaments are injured.
- Range of motion evaluation to determine the severity of the sprain. A stiff, swollen ankle usually will not move much.
- X-ray imaging to rule out fractures.
Once certain there is no broken bone, Sideline Orthopedics will be able to ascertain the severity of your ankle sprain based upon the amount of swelling, pain and bruising.
Usually ankle sprains can be treated without surgery. If immobilized appropriately, a complete ligament tear can heal without surgical repair.
A three-phase program is utilized in treatment for most ankle sprains, from “mild” to “severe”:
- Phase 1 includes resting, protecting the ankle and reducing the swelling.
- Phase 2 involves restoring range of motion, strength and flexibility.
- Phase 3 incorporates functional restoration of activity.
This three-phase treatment program may take just two weeks to complete for minor sprains. More severe injuries may require several weeks of treatment. Once the three phases are complete, and you are no longer in pain, you may return to normal activities and/or sports with the permission of your physician.
Depending on the level of severity, a brace, boot or crutches may be used.