Dang It I Sprained My Ankle!

An ankle sprain is the stretching and tearing of ligaments in the ankle. It is the most common injury to the ankle and the long term consequences are a common cause of chronic ankle pain.  80% of ankle sprains are the inversion ankle sprain, in which the ankle rolls over on the outside.

There are three degrees of severity.

First degree ankle sprain:
– Some stretching or mild tearing of the ligament
– Little or no functional loss – the joint can still function and bear some weight (but hurts!)
– Mild pain
– Some swelling
– Some joint stiffness

Second degree ankle sprain:
– Some more severe tearing of the ligaments
– Moderate instability of the joint
– Moderate to severe pain – weightbearing is very painful
– Swelling and stiffness

Third degree ankle sprain:
– Total rupture of a ligament – there is a loss of motion
– Gross instability of the joint – joint function is lost
– Severe pain initially followed by no pain
– Severe swelling

Treatment

Protect – don’t allow it to roll again.

Rest – take a break, quit whatever you were doing that caused the injury, take time off based on the severity of your sprain.

Ice – 3-4 times a day, 20 minutes each.

Compress – wrap it!

Elevate – raise it above your heart!

If you still have swelling after 24 hours, have no pain, and loss of ankle function, go see a doctor.

*Parts excerpted from wikiHow

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