Ankle sprains can keep you off your feet for a week or longer, depending on the severity of your injury. Sprains are among the foot and ankle injuries and conditions that podiatrist Dr. Arthur Kaplan treats in his Port Washington, NY, office.
How do sprains occur?
Several bands of connective tissue called ligaments connect the bones of your ankle joint together. The ligaments can stretch or tear if your ankle suddenly twists or turns inward, which results in a sprain. Although sprains can happen to anyone, they're more likely to occur if you participate in certain sports, such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football and tennis.
Common symptoms of sprains
Sometimes it's difficult to tell if you've merely twisted your ankle or sprained it. If a sprain is responsible for your pain, you may experience several of these signs and symptoms:
- Swelling: Your body's healing process begins the minute you hurt your ankle. As soon as the injury is detected, white blood cells flood the area. The increase in blood flow causes your ankle to swell noticeably. Swelling can begin just a few minutes after you injure your ankle.
- An Unusual Sound: In some cases, you may actually be able to hear your ligaments stretching or tearing. If you heard a pop when you hurt your ankle, you may have a sprain.
- Pain: Pain may vary in intensity depending on how badly you sprain your ankle. If the ligament has only stretched slightly, you might notice a jolt of pain when you turn your ankle, but may not experience much pain thereafter. More severe sprains can cause pain at rest and when you're on your feet.
- Difficulty Walking: Pain may make walking uncomfortable, but you may also have a little trouble walking if your ankle is swollen or stiff or your joint is unstable. If your joint is unstable, it may be impossible to put any weight or pressure on it. Call your Port Washington office as soon as possible if walking is very difficult.
- Bruising: Small blood vessels under your skin may tear when you sprain your ankle. As a result, blood pools under the skin, giving it a purple appearance.
Ignoring sprain symptoms are severe or last more than a week or two may lead to chronic pain and joint instability. If you're worried that you may have a sprained ankle, schedule an appointment with Port Washington, NY, podiatrist Dr. Arthur Kaplan by calling (516) 883-8313 to schedule an appointment.
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