Ankle Sprains: How to Tell You Need Treatment

One of the most common injuries treated at urgent care centers all over the United States are ankle sprains. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe and are usually the result of rolling, twisting, or turning your ankle in an unnatural way. When this happens, the bands of tissue (called ligaments) can stretch or even tear. The ankle joint is one of the most important in the entire body, as it helps support the body by providing balance and stability. The ligaments surrounding the ankle bend and stretch as we walk, run, and perform other functions. However, if they are forced beyond their natural range of motion, it may result in a sprain. In most cases, a sprained ankle involves injury to the outer side of the ankle.

Ankle sprains are among the most common orthopedic injuries, experienced by both men and women of all different ages. While athletes are among the most common group to report ankle sprains, they can occur in anyone. This is especially true during the summer months as people become more active and prone to injury. At our urgent care center, we believe in offering people services that will help them get back on their feet – literally and figuratively – as soon as possible. If you have suffered an ankle sprain, please come into Urgentology today and allow one of our experienced doctors to evaluate your injury.

Different Types of Ankle Sprains

It is very easy to sprain an ankle. In fact, it can happen from a quick sideways movement or twisting of the ankle. From tripping on an uneven surface to falling victim to a clumsy step, ankle sprains happen every single day. In order to get a better idea of what happens when an ankle is sprained, let’s go over the different types of ankle sprains:

  • Grade I Ankle Sprain – A first degree ankle sprain is the least severe and occurs when the ligaments have been stretched, but not torn. Some of the symptoms of a grade one ankle sprain include:
    • Mild pain
    • Swelling
    • Some joint instability
    • Mild joint discomfort
  • Grade II Ankle Sprain – A second degree ankle sprain is the most common and occurs when there is a partial tearing of the ligament around the ankle. The symptoms of this type of sprain include:
    • Significant swelling
    • Bruising at the site of injury
    • Pain
    • Some loss of motion
    • Difficulty walking
  • Grade III Ankle Sprain – As you may have guessed, a third degree ankle sprain is the most serious. When this occurs, it means the ligament has completely torn. Symptoms of a third degree ankle sprain include:
    • Severe swelling
    • Intense pain
    • Instability of the ankle joint
    • Loss of motion
    • Difficulty walking
    • Walking comes with serious pain

How to Treat an Ankle Sprain

Treatment for an ankle sprain will depend on which type of sprain you have suffered. In most cases, the first thing you should do is rest (for at least the first 24 to 48 hours), followed by ice for 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 hours. If the sprain is a grade two or three, you may need to wear a brace and elevate the ankle above the heart as often as possible.

We recommend seeing a doctor for an ankle sprain if you are experiencing pain and swelling and suspect you’ve done more serious damage. In some cases, the sprain may actually lead to a broken bone in your ankle or leg, which will require additional treatment.

Ankle Sprain Recovery Time

Again, ankle sprain recovery time will depend on the individual and the type of injury they have suffered. In most cases, mild sprains will take two to three days to heal, while moderate sprains may require one to three weeks of treatment and severe sprains can take anywhere from six to 12 months to heal completely.

If you suspect an ankle sprain, please come into Urgentology right away and allow one of our doctors to assess your injury. The first step to making a full recovery is receiving the care you need. If you have any additional questions about ankle sprains or our urgent care center, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Important: If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room. Information in this site is not intended to be used as a diagnosis for your symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention or visit Urgentology Care.

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