A sprained ankle is the most common musculoskeletal injury. A misstep and you have sprained your ankle. These injuries can cause a range of symptoms including pain, swelling and stiffness. These injuries can result from damage to the bone, muscle or soft tissue. Ankle problems might include sprains, fractures, swelling in the tendons, arthritis and others.
Most ankle sprains are caused when you might have moved or rotated an angle beyond the normal range of motion, tripping or landing on the floor with increased force and pressure on the foot. While most of the time, ankle pain can be treated at home without medical intervention, if the pain persists and swelling accompanies it, then it might be a good idea to visit a clinician.
Severity of ankle injuries
The severity of an ankle injury depends on how much damage has been done and how unstable the joint is after the injury. The road to recovery might be long if the pain is severe. When there is minimal stretching, there is mild pain, swelling and tenderness. However, there is no joint instability and the person can recover within three weeks. If there is a partial tear, there might be some joint instability and the person might have difficulty carrying weight or walking. Recovery can take up to three to six weeks. In full rupture, there is significant joint instability along with loss of function and motion. The person might struggle with walking. Recovery can also take up to several months.
Ankles play an important role in balancing your body. Hence, any injury caused to them must not be taken lightly. Your first goal must be to decrease the pain and swelling and prevent the damage from advancing. The classic technique involves rest, ice, compression and elevation. During the first 24-48 hours, a person must try to reduce activities that involve movement, keeping the ankle in an elevated position, and moving your ankle gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when the person might be awake. A person must also avoid long periods on their feet. After 48 hours, a person can use their leg more. However, if the pain and swelling persist, a visit must be made to the clinician.