Ankle Sprains

Do you know what joint is the most commonly injured joint in the body? Do you know what condition accounts for 10% of emergency room visits in the US? Well, if you said ankles and ankle sprains, then you’d be correct. So, what is an ankle sprain? An ankle sprain is injury to the ligaments on the inside or the outside of the ankle, typically on the outside of the ankle, and what usually happens is there is a twisting injury or a fall or a sports injury whereby these ligaments are strained in a very rapid manner. The initial evaluation of this injury would consist of a thorough examination of the ankle to see exactly where the injury is and sometimes an x-ray to see if there is any other type of injuries. The initial treatment for this is usually conservative depending on the type of treatment and what we like to call RICE. No, not that type of rice. This RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. So you want to rest the joint, you want to apply some ice to relieve some of the swelling and relieve some of the pain, put some compression on which usually would be done in an office setting. A special type of wrap would be put onto the ankle and elevation, keeping the ankle elevated to reduce the amounts of swelling. The recovery time for this type of injury is variable but typically ranges in the two to six week range or so. It is important to have this condition evaluated mostly to rule out any other type of injuries because it is important to make sure that if something else is going on in the ankle, that that doesn’t turn into a chronic injury and a chronic problem.

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