Sprained Ankle Treatment
Treatment and healing time of an ankle sprain will depend on the grade of the sprain.
The sprained ankle specialist may also order the following treatment measures if the sprain is a grade 2 or 3.
Immobilisation: A splint, short leg cast, or boot may be used to immobilise the ankle and allow healing to take place with a grade 2 or 3 sprain.
Medications: Medications such as NSAID’s, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be prescribed to minimise swelling.
Physical Therapy: Strengthening and range of motion exercises may be prescribed by a therapist to regain normal function of the ankle and prevent chronic ankle problems.
Surgery for ankle sprains is rarely needed but may be necessary if the sprain is a grade 3 with complete tearing of the ligament and the patient does not improve with conservative treatment measures and months of adequate healing time.
Diagnosis for Sprained Ankle
The diagnosis of ankle sprain starts with the physical examination, which is painful as the ankle is bent in various directions to assess which ligament is injured. Then X-rays are taken to confirm whether any fracture is present, as the symptoms of a sprain are similar. The doctor grades the ankle sprain by looking at the amount of swelling and bruising of the ankle. In complex cases, an MRI scan is ordered for analysing the injured ligament.
Symptoms of Sprained Ankle
Ankle sprains result in pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness of the ankle region. Mobility, range of motion and weight bearing are adversely affected. The severity of the ankle sprain depends on the condition of the torn ligament.
Grades of ankle sprain
Based on the severity of the ligament’s condition, ankle sprains are categorized as grade 1, 2, or 3.
Grade 1: a mild sprain with some damage to the ligament fibres
Grade 2: a moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligament
Grade 3: a severe sprain with complete tearing of the ligament
Ankle Sprains are a common injury that occurs from over stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support the ankle.