A typical ankle sprain has tenderness over the injured area, swelling and bruising. After the injury, most patients can walk on the affected foot. However, if a person cannot put any weight on their foot because of severe pain, they may not have an ankle sprain but a fracture to one of the bones that makes up the ankle joint. If this is the case, a person may need an x-ray of the ankle to look at the anatomy and to determine if there is a fracture present. Typically, ankle sprains do not require x-rays.

An ankle sprain is one of the most common sports injuries. Many athletes have sprained an ankle at some point in their life, and although common, not all are minor injuries. The highest incidence occurs in patients between 15 and 19 years in age. Mostly commonly we see patients with ankle sprains related to playing basketball, but they can happen when playing any sport.

There are three types of ankle sprains: medial, lateral, and syndesmotic (“high”). The most common type of sprain affects the lateral ligaments and the most common ligament to be sprained is the anterior talofibular ligament. This type of injury is usually due to an inversion motion to the ankle and foot — the twisting movement of the foot inward.

Treatment options for an ankle sprain include: ice, compression, anti-inflammatory medications, elevation and support bracing. Severe ankle sprains may require a walking boot and crutches. Other treatment options can consist of platelet-rich-plasma injections or prolotherapy to help heal the injured ligament. Rehabilitation from an ankle sprain consists of range-of-motion, strengthening, and balancing exercises.

Some increased risk factors that lead to an ankle sprain are previous ankle sprain, increase weight, and ligament laxity.

GO Ortho is located at 3755 Orange Place in Beachwood and in Westlake at the Premier Medical Campus. Learn more at www.godoctornow.com. Go Ortho was founded by Dr. Reuben Gobezie the founder/director of The Cleveland Shoulder Institute and Regen Orthopedics. For more information, visit clevelandshoulder.com, regenorthopedics.com or godoctornow.com.

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