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Sprained Ankle

 
 
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Sprained Ankle

What is Sprained Ankle?

A sprained ankle is where the ligaments that connect one bone to another gets injured through stretching or a sharp pull. A stretched or partially torn ligament results in a minor sprain whereas in sever sprains the ligament can be completely torn sometimes causing the bone to crack or pull off.


 
Symptoms
  • Snapping or popping sound from ankle
  • Feeling of support on ankle giving way
  • Pain (sometimes being so severe that it prevents weight being put on ankle)
  • Bruising and swelling (can take up to 24 hours to develop)
  • Difficulty moving ankle and unstable feeling from affected area
Cause
  • Usually caused by the foot turning inwards causing an overstretch in the ligaments on the outside of ankle
  • Very common in active sports that involve jumping, running and stop starts
  • Can be caused by walking on irregular or uneven surfaces
  • Foot slipping of edge of stairs or kerb
  • Losing balance in some footwear like high heels
Treatment
  • You can protect the ankle from further harm by having more support around the ankle area with high-top shoes and similar
  • Rest the injured foot for up to 72 hours and use supports such as crutches if you need to move around
  • Gradually re-introduce weight to the affected foot to prevent further injury
  • To reduce swelling and bruising apply ice by wrapping it in a towel and placing on affected area for up to a total of 20 minutes in every 3 hours (to prevent damage to your skin)
  • Use an elasticated tubular support bandage to compress the area
  • Elevate your ankle to the same height as your heart to minimize swelling
  • If symptoms persist or the ability to carry weight on the affected ankle does not return in 4 days see a doctor for further help
Prevention
  • Use exercises to strengthen the ankle muscles
  • Wear footwear that offers appropriate support to your ankle
  • Take care when walking in high heels
  • Ensure areas such as stairs and hallways are clear of obstacles that cause a trip or fall
  • Do not exercise if tired and allow the muscles to rest between physical activity
  • Try strength conditioning of the ankles and feet before the start of a sports season
 
 
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