If you rolled your ankle and wonder if you have sprained it or not, you should check in with the team at Complete Foot and Ankle. The specialists, Jacob Reinkraut, DPM, FACFAS; Michelle Suh, DPM, ABPM; and Danny Gomez, DPM, FACFAS, have dozens of years of experience successfully treating sprained ankles among them. If you live in the Ridgewood or Newark, New Jersey areas, contact the clinic for an appointment online or over the phone.

Sprained Ankle Q & A

What actually happens when you sprain an ankle?

When you roll or twist your ankle beyond its normal range of motion, you can sprain it. When you have a sprained ankle, that means you’ve stretched or torn the ligaments that stabilize your ankle.

Symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

  • Pain, especially when placing pressure on the ankle
  • Swelling, tenderness, and bruising
  • Ankle instability
  • Popping sensation upon injury

When should I see a doctor?

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, you should see one of the podiatrists at Complete Foot and Ankle. However, if you’re involved in any of the following circumstances, you shouldn’t hesitate to visit the office:

  • You’re involved in an accident
  • Home treatments don’t help you feel any better
  • You can’t place any weight on your ankle

The symptoms of a fracture are similar to that of a sprain, so it’s difficult to tell from outward appearance which injury you have. Because of that, it’s important to see a podiatrist either way.

How do you diagnose a sprained ankle?

During your Complete Foot and Ankle appointment, your podiatrist performs a physical exam to assess your range of motion and the points of tenderness in your ankle. They also ask a variety of questions regarding the circumstances of your sprain so they can pinpoint your injury.

Next, your podiatrist may order X-rays or other imaging exams for your ankle. The tests help rule out fractures and indicate the extent of the damage. From these results, your podiatrist can then make an accurate diagnosis.

How do you treat a sprained ankle?

At home, you can use the RICE method to relieve pain and swelling (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Over-the-counter painkillers can provide pain relief while you’re resting your ankle.

At the podiatrist’s office, you may receive crutches, bandages, or a brace to support your ankle while it heals. Your podiatrist may then have you begin an exercise program to stretch, stabilize, and strengthen your ankle.

Only in rare cases might your podiatrist suggest surgery. For example, if you tear a ligament and it doesn’t heal, you may need surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligament.

If you think you sprained your ankle, contact the specialists at Complete Foot and Ankle online or over the phone to take the next steps toward recovery.