With the amount of time we spend on our feet, occasionally twisting an ankle happens and the effects are usually short-lived. Sometimes, however, that twist can lead to a sprain, which is when Dr. Adejoke Babalola, the Podiatrist of Perfect Footcare in New York City can help. With prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment, Dr. Babalola and her staff can have you up and running again quickly.

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What is an ankle sprain?

Put simply, an ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments in the ankle are excessively strained or torn. The most common type of sprain is one that occurs on the outside of the ankle, as a result of the foot rolling underneath the ankle or leg, overextending the ligaments that attach the foot to the leg. This injury is usually caused by:

  • Twisting
  • Stopping suddenly — ankle sprains commonly occur during athletic activities
  • Jumping and landing poorly
  • Rolling off an object like steps
  • As a result of a previous injury or sprain
  • Anatomical defects that naturally cause the ankle to sag inward
  • Weakened joints

How do I know if I’ve sprained my ankle?

When you injure your ankle, pain is the first thing you notice. Often, after twisting the ankle, you may experience some degree of pain, which may go away within minutes or hours. If any of the following occurs, you should make an appointment with Dr. Babalola:

  • Swelling and bruising in the area
  • In more severe sprains, you may feel or hear a tearing or popping in the ankle
  • Difficulty putting weight on the ankle (though with some sprains you may still have the ability to bear weight so pay attention to the other signs).

What is the treatment for an ankle sprain?

If, after twisting your foot, you experience lingering or increasing pain and discomfort, RICE is the best course of immediate action:

  • Rest — don’t put any weight on the ankle after the injury
  • Ice — during the first 24 to 72 hours, ice the area for 10-15 minutes every hour or two
  • Compression — wrap an ace bandage around the ankle to prevent swelling
  • Elevation — position the ankle above the heart for several hours a day to help with swelling

You should also call Dr. Babalola for a firm diagnosis and treatment plan. Dr. Babalola aims to rule out a fracture with an X-ray first and then sets you up with a rehabilitative plan, which includes continuing the RICE components, as well as:

  • Crutches or a brace depending on the severity of the sprain
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

The length of recovery time depends entirely on the severity of the sprain.