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Grading the Severity of a Sprained Ankle

Tuesday, 03 May 2022 00:00

Ankle sprains are injuries that affect many people, regardless of how active or inactive they may be. Ankle sprains occur when one or more of the strong ligaments that support and bind the ankle become stretched beyond their normal bounds, or even torn in severe cases. This injury causes varying degrees of pain, swelling, and mobility issues which are graded by severity. Grade 1 ankle sprains cause mild pain and swelling, and there is no visible bruising, joint instability, or difficulty bearing weight. Ligaments are minimally stretched, so recovery time generally falls within one to three weeks. With a grade 2 ankle sprain the pain, swelling, and tenderness can range from mild to moderate. There may be some joint instability and bruising. Bearing weight may be painful, and it may be difficult to move the ankle. The recovery time typically doubles, because the ligament has been partially torn. A grade 3 ankle sprain is the most severe because the ligament(s) have torn fully or ruptured. This causes severe pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness. It is impossible to walk due to the ankle being considerably unstable and unable to bear weight. Also, a grade 3 ankle sprain can take several months to fully heal. If you believe you have sprained your ankle, make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible.


 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Milos Tomich, DPM from Dr. Tomich Foot & Ankle Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, WI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
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