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Ankle Sprains Specialist

InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas

Foot and Ankle Surgeons & Podiatrists located in Matthews, NC & Monroe, NC

Ankle sprains might initially seem minor, but if you don’t take care of a sprain, you could have serious pain and instability long term. At InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas in Matthews and Monroe, North Carolina, you can get the targeted care you need to reclaim full ankle function without pain. Talented podiatry specialists Eric Ward, DPM, and Blaise Woeste, DPM, offer the most innovative and effective solutions available for ankle pain, so call either office or book your appointment online anytime.

Ankle Sprains Q & A

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury that happens when you overstretch or tear one of the ligaments connecting your ankle bones. The vast majority of ankle sprains are lateral, meaning they affect the outer ankle area, but you can also sprain the inner ankle ligaments. 

Ankle sprains can happen in many ways, but one common source is sports injuries. You can also sprain your ankle with just one misstep on uneven ground, or in many other accidents.

Ankle sprains can be mild, moderate, or severe. Your InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas podiatrist classifies your ankle sprain by type.

  • Type I - mild, with ligament stretching or slight tear
  • Type II - moderately serious, with partial or complete ligament tear
  • Type III - severe, with a full ligament tear and notable ankle instability

To accurately diagnose ankle sprain and rule out other causes of pain, your podiatrist at InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas performs a gentle exam, along with X-ray imaging. 

Additionally, your podiatrist may use ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging. These highly detailed bone and soft-tissue views help your doctor classify your ankle sprain and plan treatment.

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain typically causes:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Pain 
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Feeling of weakness or instability

If you've got these symptoms, get off your foot right away. Reach out to the InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas for advice so you can avoid further ankle damage.

How do you relieve ankle sprain symptoms?

InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas relieves your pain and gets you back on your feet safely in a variety of ways. Your recovery often starts with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, a protocol known as RICE. The RICE method encourages your body's natural recovery process, reduces pain, and minimizes swelling. 

For type II or III ankle sprains, you may need to avoid putting weight on it for a while, with help from crutches. You may need a walking boot, cast, or splint for optimal compression as you heal. 

Your InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas podiatrist may recommend additional pain relief measures like therapeutic ultrasound and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. 

As you recover, ankle-strengthening exercises are an excellent way to reclaim full function safely. Your podiatrist can teach you how to do these exercises comfortably at home as you recover.

Get ankle sprain help from the ankle experts at InStride Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas by calling either office or booking online now.