Ankle Sprain Treatment Helps Early Recovery

Early Treatment for Ankle Sprains Result in a Quicker Recovery

Early treatment for ankle sprains  results in a quicker recovery. An ankle sprain is an injury that occurs with trauma. In addition, when  the twisting injury occurs, up to 4 major ligaments in the ankle can tear. Therefore it can result in swelling, bruising and  pain.

Mechanism of Injury for an Ankle Sprain

Excessive inversion or eversion motion to the ankle causes a sprain. Inversion is when the ankle turns inward . An eversion  injury occurs when the foot and ankle turn outward. Many times, a pop is heard at the time of injury. After that typically swelling quickly occurs. In addition, it may be difficult to bear weight after the injury.  The amount of pops heard along with the amount of swelling typically correlate that the number of ligaments torn at the time of the injury.

Ankle sprain

Ankle Sprain . Drawing is from the Mayo Clinic


What to Do Next After You Have Sprained Your Ankle?

The first thing to do is place ice on the ankle. The ice must cover the whole ankle joint. Secondly, wrap the ankle with an ace wrap or cobain. If you do not own:  place a kitchen towel around the ankle using safety pins to hold in place. Thirdly, take an NSAID medication , if you do not have a history of stomach ulcers, kidney disease or are taking any blood thinners. If the ankle is too painful to bear weight if might be fractured . If there is concern about a fracture or broken bone, a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon or urgent care is needed provider will examine the ankle and probably take x-rays . The next step is to reduce the swelling and pain.

Treatment Over the Next Six Weeks

Treatment over the next six weeks can be divided into three phases. The first phase is to reduce swelling and control pain. Ice, NSAIDS, ace wrap , sometimes a cast boot , crutches and physical therapy. The quicker PT is started the quicker recovery occurs.

In addition, the second phase is involves weaning out of the cast boot into a lace up ankle brace. For instance the NSAIDS are typically stopped and icing can occur less often. Physical therapy moves to a more functional type of rehab to restore normal activities of daily living. The third and final phase to to introduce normal fitness activities . Therefore the final phase involves more PT is sports specific. Therefore, the brace is  worn for another 6 weeks even after PT has stopped. It helps to improve proprioception.

If proper rehab is important so recurrent ankle sprains do not recur  easily .