What is an Ankle Sprain?
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist or roll your ankle awkwardly. This injury causes the ligaments which hold the ankle bones together to stretch or even tear. This may lead to ankle pain, swelling or even instability.
Ankle sprains should not be underestimated. Its treatment depends on its severity. In mild cases, self-care with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) may be all that you need. However, in more severe cases, persistent pain and instability should be formally addressed by an orthopaedic surgeon.
• Ankle pain
• Ankle instability or recurrent (repeated) sprains
• Ankle weakness
• Difficulty walking on uneven ground
Symptoms may vary from person to person.
Can I prevent an ankle sprain?
- Warm up before exercise or sports.
- Avoid sports which you are not trained or conditioned in.
- Wear shoes that fit well and are appropriate for your activity.
- Use an ankle brace or guard to a previously weak ankle.
- Maintain good muscle strength and conditioning
- Be aware when exercising on uneven ground
How are ankle sprains treated?
X-rays may be arranged in serious cases to exclude any possible fractures, and MRI scans may be required for recurrent (repeated) ankle sprains with severe pain and swelling to look for partial or complete tears of your ankle ligaments. Treatment for ankle sprains may be performed in phases, according to the degree of the injury.
As the swelling around the ankle improves, physiotherapy and rehabilitation are required to restore the strength, flexibility and stability to the muscles and ligaments around the ankle. Our trained physiotherapists will institute a rehabilitation program that is characterised by customised and progressive training for you.
Muscles which have weakened as a result of the injury will be strengthened through exercise, stretching and training. Stability and proprioception of your ankle will be restored using balancing exercises and specialised equipment. This will help you navigate uneven ground and stair climbing after your rehabilitation. These training exercises are crucial in preventing further injuries in future.
In severe ankle sprains, one or more ligaments that hold the ankle joint together may be partially or completely torn. Despite initial treatment with compression, icing and physiotherapy, patients may still experience pain, instability and loss of function.
In these instances, surgery may be the appropriate treatment to repair or reconstruct the torn ligaments and restore the stability of your ankle. A stable ankle will accelerate your recovery process as it helps prevent recurrent ankle injury and swelling. It allows you to embark on your rehabilitation with confidence and assurance.
How long will it take for my ankle to recover?
Treatment for ankle sprains at Orion Orthopaedic are designed to accelerate your recovery with holistic and patient-centered care. Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Mizan will work with you to ensure you return to your daily activities and favourite sports safely and timely.
Is it alright to walk around with a sprained ankle?
This depends on the severity of the sprain and the treatment rendered for the injury. Your doctor may advise you to only put minimal weight on your ankle while it is still recovering from the injury. Excessive walking may lead to more pain and swelling if the injury is stressed too early on.
How do I know if my ankle sprain is serious?
The nature of the initial accident or injury will provide a good idea about how fast it may recover. A serious injury is characterised by severe pain, swelling and recurrent sprains despite efforts to support and treat it. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can I claim insurance for my ankle injury?
Ankle sprains and injuries are insurance claimable. We do advise our patients to check with their personal or corporate insurance plans and representatives. We are also able to help them with this if required.
What should I do immediately after an ankle sprain while waiting for my appointment and treatment?
Timely self-care with rest, icing, compression and elevation are important to manage the initial pain and swelling around the ankle. Anti-inflammatory medication will further reduce the pain and swelling that you may be experiencing.