How can I treat a sprained ankle?
Treating a sprained ankle is simple, but it takes time. You will need to have your foot evaluated to rule out possible broken bones. Then following the RICE model—rest, ice, compress, and elevate—helps your damaged ligaments repair themselves. Take a break from your regular high-impact activities, and ice the joint to help decrease the swelling around it. Wrapping the ankle in a compression bandage and keeping it elevated will also help with this. You might need to immobilize the injured limb as well.
Once the ankle has improved, you’ll need to work on restoring the joint’s range of motion. This may include physical therapy exercises to improve your flexibility and build up strength in your lower limb again. Only occasionally does surgery become necessary for healing. If you think you have a sprained ankle, contact Dr. Paul C. LaFata at West Lawn Podiatry Associates in the Reading and Berks counties, PA. Call (610) 678-4581 or use our online request form to set up an appointment.
How does an ankle sprain differ from a broken ankle?
A broken ankle and an ankle sprain can share a lot of similar symptoms—immediate pain, swelling, and joint instability. There may or may not be bruising as well. The difference is in the tissues that are affected. A sprain is an overstretching or tearing of one of the ligaments that stabilize your ankle joints. Breaks are cracks that cut through your bone tissue. Tenderness on the bony ankle bumps and the inability to bear weight for more than a couple steps are strong indicators of a fracture. Stiff, unstable ankles are more likely just sprained.
You may not be able to tell the difference between sprains and breaks on your own, but a careful evaluation by Dr. Paul C. LaFata and our staff will identify the specific injury. They may need X-rays or other diagnostic images to do so accurately. Then we can begin the appropriate treatment. If you’re concerned about an injury and you aren’t sure if it’s a sprain or a break, call (610) 678-4581 or send us an online message to reach our West Lawn, PA, office.
How long will I be sidelined with turf toe?
How long you sit out with a toe injury depends on the extent of the problem and how well you take care of it. Turf toe recovery time can range from two weeks to several months. A mild injury may only need a couple weeks to heal. Icing the foot, resting, and limiting the big toe’s movement are usually enough to restore the affected joint.
A severe problem, however, needs more intervention. Sometimes the toe has to be immobilized in a splint or walking boot to keep it still. Occasionally the damage may actually request surgery to repair the problem. Once the damaged ligaments have healed enough, you’ll need physical therapy to restore your limb to full strength.
Whatever treatment the toe requires, the key to getting off the sidelines and back into your activities is to give your limb the time it needs to heal. Don’t try to rush the recovery, or you may make the problem worse and extend your healing time. Let Dr. Paul C. LaFata and our staff know if you need any help with your sprained big toe. Simply call (610) 678-4581 or use the website to reach our West Lawn, PA, office .