What should I do if I sprain my ankle?

Spraining your ankle can be not only embarrassing, but it can cause significant pain and difficulty walking. Ankle sprains are either mild and do not require medical attention, or severe and might need further assistance from a medical professional. Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty of Sports, Occupational, and Knee Surgery in Texas can assist patients in evaluating their ankle sprain and determining methods of protection and treatment.

What is a sprained ankle?

Sprained ankles can vary in severity. A minor ankle spray may cause mild pain and discomfort but can quickly fade and allow patients to carry on with their day. However, more severe spraining of the ankle can cause one or more ligaments to tear. Without proper diagnosis and treatment of a severe ankle sprain, long-term problems can arise. A sprained ankle may be difficult to discern from a broken bone, so an evaluation may include x-rays to look for injury. Significant swelling, deformity, and bruising can lead patients to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment of a sprained ankle

During your appointment, the doctor will evaluate the ankle to diagnose the sprain as a Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3 sprain, with Grade 3 being the most severe. Most Grade 1 ankle sprains require minimal care, but may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Swelling will go down with time, typically a few days. However, patients who have been diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain might require a leg cast, walking boot, or even surgical interventions to repair damage of the ligaments in the leg. This reduces the risk of permanent ankle instability that can occur after a sprain of this caliber.

Learn more about ankle sprain care from a medical professional

If you believe you have an ankle sprain, it may be time to speak to a medical team to ensure proper healing and recovery. Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty are available to help with two convenient locations in Schertz and San Antonio, TX. Call (210) 696-9000 today to request an appointment with our team for further evaluation.