How to Keep Your Sprained Ankle from Becoming a Chronic Instability

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries among children and adults. Around 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. Ankle sprains are a minor injury that can worsen if not properly treated. With over 10 years of experience in healing a variety of orthopedic issues, Dr. Bryan King and our team at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute in Northport, Alabama, are here to assist you. 

How did this happen?

Ankle sprains are the result of a strained or torn ligament. Ligaments in the ankle are made of a flexible, fibrous tissue that holds the bones together and keeps them stable. When your ligament is stretched beyond its limit, you have an ankle sprain. It’s the most common injury in sports of all levels, is frequently found among fitness and outdoors enthusiasts and in industries that involve standing for long periods of time, lifting, and moving heavy objects. 

The biggest risk factor for a sprained ankle is simply living. You don’t have to be particularly active to be at risk for this injury – many occur after stepping awkwardly, or rolling the ankle while walking. Fortunately, despite the high occurrence of this type of injury, you’ll never see a line of patients waiting outside of an orthopedic office. This is because most ankle sprains are mild, simply requiring rest and some over-the-counter medication. 

Do I need surgery?

While some cases of a sprained ankle may necessitate surgery, this is highly unusual. Dr. King can tell you if your case is severe enough to require surgery. To be sure, there are no recorded cases of a fatality due to an ankle sprain, so you don’t need to worry. Taking care of your ankle after treatment, though, is essential to your overall health. 

How do I stop my sprained ankle from getting worse?

The best part of healing from a sprained ankle is the easiness of recovery and proper care. Dr. King recommends easy and helpful daily exercises that will aid in your complete recovery. The first and most important step to preserving the health and use of your ankle is to heal from your sprain completely. Mild sprains usually will heal completely in two weeks. Severe sprains may need as long as 12 weeks to heal completely. 

Whether you need two weeks or 12, Dr. King’s treatment plan for you will lessen your pain and repair your ligament. While you are healing, it’s especially important for you to be careful with your ankle. Many people accidentally aggravate the injury or re-sprain their ankle. This raises the risk of the injury having a permanent effect, with the end result being chronic ankle pain. 

What if my ankle still hurts?

If you’re still experiencing a high level of pain, Dr. King may prescribe a painkiller, but you may simply be referred to as a medication that you can find in any pharmacy. Taking your medicine according to doctor’s orders should be considered part of your therapy, and should always be followed through. If you’re still having issues, we’re here to help you.

Living with pain in your ankles now could have a devastating effect later. Call us to make an appointment, or use our online scheduling tool.

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