If you’ve ever twisted your ankle suddenly, you know what an ankle sprain or sprain looks like. The pain is severe and is caused by the ligaments surrounding the ankle being stretched beyond their limits. Although not a pleasant experience, you can often treat your ankle in the comfort of your own home. However, in rare cases, a sprained ankle can indicate something more serious than just an injury.
What is a twisted ankle?
Imagine this. Your foot slips on the floor and your ankle twists while running errands. You know it’s bad when you hear that crackling sound! The term “torsion” refers to a sprain or strain of a ligament, the tissue that connects bones to other bones. Such injuries can damage ligaments, often causing pain and swelling around the joint. If a severe enough sprain occurs, torn ligaments can lead to instability and deformity within the joint.
Sprains are classified according to the degree of extension or tear as follows:
- Grade 1: A minor sprain that does not damage the ligaments but causes pain and swelling.
- Grade 2: Moderate sprain causing partial tearing of one or more ligaments with joint instability.
- Grade 3: Severe sprain with a complete tear of one or more ligaments and significant joint instability.
What causes a twisted ankle?
Falling on uneven ground: Landing your foot on jagged rocks or other irregularly shaped objects can twist your ankle. Falls on Hard Ground: If you trip and fall on a pavement or sidewalk, you may injure your ankle because your feet do not have padding to absorb the impact of the fall. Falls on Slippery Surfaces: If you slip while walking on wet ground or snow, you can twist your ankle as your body weight slides your ankle forward during the fall and before you touch down. Landing awkwardly after jumping from a height (such as stairs): This type of landing puts your entire body weight on one foot at a time, twisting the ankle, pain, swelling, and bruising around the joint area where the bones are located. can cause serious injury. meet (ligaments connect bones).
Symptoms of a twisted ankle:
Symptoms of a twisted ankle include pain, swelling, and bruising. An injured leg may make it difficult to walk or stand. You may also feel pain in your ankle and feel unstable when you move. Even standing can feel unsafe if your ankle is twisted. The affected area may feel wobbly or unsteady (also called “giving”).
There is usually stiffness in the surrounding muscles, and there is warmth and redness throughout the injured area. Skin discoloration may result from swelling or bruising but is usually normal after complications (such as infection) have resolved. disappears within days, if not weeks.
Diagnosis of Sprained Ankle
An ankle sprain is a sprain of the ankle ligaments, but not all sprains are ankle sprains. If the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon is damaged, another diagnosis is required.
A twisted ankle can be diagnosed in several ways. The most common types of diagnosis are X-rays and MRI scans, which doctors can use to determine if there is damage to the bones and ligaments in feet and ankles.
Ultrasound imaging can also help diagnose ankle twisting and monitor its progression over time.
Treating a twisted ankle is like any other sprain, but there’s more to it than just giving your foot a rest. If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, don’t panic. There are various home remedies as well as remedies you can try.
Home remedies for a twisted ankle :
- Ice: Applying ice to the ankle reduces swelling, reduces pain, and inflammation, and aids in healing. Ice can be applied directly with an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes at a time, remove for 1 hour, then reapply. Please be careful not to hit the ice directly on your skin.
- Heat: Applying heat after using ice can help loosen stiff, inflamed muscles from ankle twisting. Heat can also help relieve stiffness after an ankle sprain. You can use the moist heat of a hot shower or bath, or the dry heat of a heating pad, hot water bottle, or electric blanket, but keep it away from sensitive areas like your hands and feet. Around the ankle, more effective.
- Compression: Bandaging provides compression, reducing swelling and pain associated with twisting the ankle. However, be careful not to apply too much pressure. Be careful not to restrict blood flow.
- Elevation: Within 24 hours after the injury, raise the injured leg as high as possible by sitting with the leg elevated or lying down with a pillow under the leg. This helps blood flow back to the heart, so it reduces swelling and makes the pain less severe and lasting longer. Don’t let it stay swollen.
Medical treatment for a twisted ankle:
The most common treatment for twisted ankles is rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). RICE is standard first aid for twisted ankles and can help reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may also put on a cast or splint to immobilize your ankle. This can help prevent further damage to the joint. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications as well. If your twisted ankle doesn’t improve, you may have a sprain that requires surgery. If you have any doubts about whether ankle twist surgery is necessary, it is advisable to consult an experienced physician before making any decision. Arthroscopy, Reconstruction Surgery would another option too.
Complications of a sprained ankle:
- Broken ankle: This is a serious injury that can lead to permanent disability and require surgery. The bone fragments must be realigned and stabilized in place and held together until they heal.
- Dislocated ankle: A serious injury in which the ankle dislocates out of its normal position, usually due to an impact or a fall.
The ligaments that hold the bones in place (the anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments) are torn or misshapen, causing pain and swelling around the ankle. Standing with your knees bent (valgus) can feel like your legs are being pulled.
Prevent ankle twisting
The best way to prevent twisted ankles is to wear proper footwear and perform physical activities and sports safely.
- Wear suitable footwear: Avoid wearing high heels as they are a fall hazard. When exercising, choose shoes with good traction and stability (such as internal heel counters).
- Avoid playing sports on uneven surfaces (grass, sand, etc.). When walking or jogging, choose an area that is well-maintained and free of potholes and cracks.
- Also, be careful when walking in crowded places such as parks. If you’re not careful, other people can trip you up. Be especially careful when carrying heavy objects.
Remember: Always watch out for children playing nearby as they are often hard to see!
Twisted ankle treatment at Painex Pain Management Clinic begins with a thorough physical examination and a review of the patient‘s medical history. This helps to determine the severity of the injury and provide an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include immobilizing the ankle with a brace or splint and providing instruction on how to correctly use crutches. Physical therapy may be prescribed in order to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the ankle and help prevent future sprains. Nonsteroidal anti–inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be prescribed in order to reduce pain and inflammation. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair the damaged ligaments and tendons.