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One of the most common injuries of the foot is the ankle sprain because while walking, it is extremely easy to take a single misstep and roll or twist your ankle. During intense activities like sports or exercise, it is even easier to roll or twist your ankle. While most ankle injuries are minor and heal within days, sometimes a bad sprain can cause a person pain for weeks and be a disabling injury.
There is a distinct path of treatment to heal an ankle injury and not only heal the ankle but also prevent further ankle injuries. Injuring your ankle a second time after the original accident is extremely common. In fact, many patients with ankle sprains spend weeks healing their ankle but because they do not follow the exact advice I am about to give you, they sprain their ankle again and have to spend many more weeks recovering.
The first thing you should be doing is helping to decrease the inflammation of the ankle and working to not further the injury of the ankle. Once you injure your ankle, get off it immediately and put on ice. It is important to ice the injury three times a day for 10-15 minutes. You should elevate the ankle as well when it is icing and resting.
If you cannot walk, then definitely use crutches to get around until you can. Again, the goal is to not damage the ankle any further.
The next thing to do is schedule an appointment with us because as a podiatrist, we can diagnose the ankle and then provide the best advice to heal the ankle quickly and avoid another injury.
For example, one thing you will definitely need is an ankle brace. This is to be worn at all times during the day until your ankle is healed and strong again. The ankle brace restricts the movement of the ankle and makes it virtually impossible to re-injure the ankle.
Another critical piece of advice is once your ankle has healed for a few weeks, do mild exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle. The ankle is extremely weak and vulnerable after a sprain. It can easily sprain again during any little misstep. You will want to strengthen the ankle so that it can support both your body’s balance and weight.
Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas have helped patients overcome ankle sprains for over 20 years at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our focus is getting our patients healthy and we do so as quickly as possible.
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By Michael Stegman