Ankle Sprains: Handle with Care

Did you know that as many as 80% of untreated ankle sprains result in long term problems such as chronic pain, ankle instability, re-injury and arthritis? At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group PC we want our patients to recognize this common injury as one that can have serious consequences if not treated promptly and properly.

Signs and Symptoms

Ankle sprains are most often the result of a twisting or “giving out” of the ankle due to a sports injury, walking on uneven surfaces or, particularly at this time of the year, slippery conditions that cause you to stumble or fall. The first and most obvious symptom of an ankle sprain is pain. In addition, you may notice any or all of the following:

·         Swelling

·         Bruising

·         Stiffness in the ankle joint

·         Difficulty walking

These symptoms, however, may increase or decrease significantly in the first 24 hours after the injury. Don’t be fooled into thinking your sprain is “ok” because you are able to walk on it or the pain has gone away.

Determining a Treatment Plan

Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will need to conduct a complete examination of your ankle and may also order x-rays (which can be done right in our Valley Stream or Lake Success office) or other imaging studies. Many times an ankle sprain may mimic or be accompanied by a fracture. Even though the symptoms may be similar the treatments are very different and therefore the foot doctor needs to know the full extent of your injury before deciding on the best treatment for you.

Initially, your treatment will most likely follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The foot doctor will also recommend pain or anti-inflammation medication if you are experiencing extreme discomfort. Eventually physical therapy may be prescribed to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your ankle and prevent future injuries.

If you believe you have sprained your ankle, don’t delay. Starting treatment immediately is critical to successful and complete ankle rehabilitation.  Contact one of our two conveniently located offices for an appointment as soon as possible after the injury occurs.