Sprained ankles are so common that many people believe it is ok to treat the sprain at home. Whether one of your kids sprained their ankle while out and about, or you sprained your ankle while playing your favorite sport, the sprain must be treated with proper professional care. Below, we aim to dispel some of the myths about ankle sprains.
At Arizona Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center, we suggest that anyone who suspects a sprain should schedule an appointment to see how severe the sprain is. While a minor sprain may be short-term and easy to treat, the severity of a sprain can be anywhere from mild to severe. If a severe sprain is not treated properly, it can lead to long-term foot and ankle problems—and even to recurring sprains. In fact, sometimes, a fracture or break is mistaken for a sprain.
While an ankle brace may be prescribed when recovering from a sprained ankle or for athletes with reoccurring foot and ankle conditions, an ankle brace is not suggested for athletes without any history of foot or ankle concerns. While braces provide weak and healing ankles with an extra bit of support, there is no guarantee that those wearing an ankle brace as a preventative measure before injury has any value.
As a foot surgeon in Phoenix, many patients come to me after something, as seemingly simple as a sprained ankle, has turned into something more severe. Many patients respond to their sprain by wrapping it in an elastic bandage. While this may indeed relieve the symptoms, it does not address the underlying strain to the ligaments and tendons. In fact, wrapping your sprain is likely to delay your return to your favorite athletic activities.
The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. While you might think that you would be able to feel the difference between a bad ankle sprain and a fracture or break, the truth is—it can be quite difficult to tell the difference. Many of the bones in your feet are so small, and you may be so tough, that a full diagnosis cannot be achieved without an x-ray—and an exam by a trusted orthopedic foot surgeon in Phoenix.
The next time you or someone in your family has an ankle injury, take the time to schedule an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center, because the appointment can make all the difference!