Our ankles bear our full body weight when we move, so it’s no surprise they can be prone to injury. Sprained ankles can happen to anyone, and they’re especially common if you regularly play sports that involve jumping, foot rolling, or twisting your feet.
Usually, you experience symptoms of your ankle sprain within minutes to hours after your injury. By learning the common signs of sprained ankles, you can identify the injury quickly and get medical treatment without delay.
Dr. Ryan Golub, DPM, a board-qualified podiatrist at Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, shares five of the most common signs that indicate you sprained your ankle.
1. Your ankle is swollen
Your ankle will usually start to swell immediately or soon after a sprain. The swelling is a result of fluid increase in the nearby tissue.
2. Your ankle appears discolored
After a sprain, you will often notice redness or bruising around your ankle. The redness is a result of blood flow to your ankle increasing after the sprain.
3. Your ankle is painful
You’ll feel pain, tenderness, or a throbbing sensation around the ankle after the sprain. Sometimes the pain and tenderness continue to get worse for several hours after your injury.
The pain and tenderness often feel worse if you attempt to stand on your ankle or move it in certain ways. It might also feel more painful if you touch the area that was sprained.
4. You have difficulty moving the ankle
After a sprain, your ankle’s range of motion will be limited. Your ankle might feel stiff, and it’ll be more difficult to move it around.
5. It’s difficult to impossible to walk on your ankle
You’ll have difficulty bearing weight on your sprained ankle. The extent varies depending on the severity of the sprain; it can range from your ankle feeling wobbly and unstable when you stand on it to your ankle completely collapsing when putting any weight on it.
What to do if you suspect you sprained your ankle
If you suspect you sprained your ankle, make an appointment at Arizona Foot Health right away. This allows Dr. Golub to assess the severity of your sprain by doing a full examination, then recommend a course of treatment.
Meanwhile, start treating your ankle at home using the RICE protocol. The RICE acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Stay off of and rest your ankle, ice it several times a day with ice wrapped around a towel to avoid direct contact with the ice, compress your ankle using a bandage, and elevate it above heart level when you’re resting.
Dr. Golub’s treatment for your sprained ankle depends on the severity of the sprain. Treatment recommendations can include RICE protocol, medications that minimize inflammation and pain, a brace or splint, using crutches to walk, and physical therapy.
To get treatment for a sprained ankle in the Phoenix, AZ area, make your appointment with Dr. Golub today with the online scheduling tool or by calling the office.