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Understanding Ankle Sprains
A sprained ankle or ankle sprain is an injury that occurs when the ankle spins or twists in the wrong position causing the ligaments that hold the ankle joint to become stretched or torn.
Usually, a person can dislocate while walking or exercising on a flat base or base, slipping, landing with the wrong position when falling or jumping, to the use of footwear with improper size and function.
There are three levels of injuries commonly experienced during a sprained ankle, ie mild muscle stretching without joint instability, tearing in some ligaments tissue without accompanied or slightly accompanied by joint instability, and tearing of total ligament tissue resulting in a loss of stability while walking.
In general, anyone at risk of suffering a sprained ankle. But the risk is increased for someone who often do sports activities involving leg muscles, such as basketball, tennis, football and run. In addition, a person who has been dislocated before also has a high risk to experience this condition again.
Ankle Sprain Symptoms
A person may be said to have a sprained ankle when experiencing symptoms such as:
-Hear sounds like “pop” when falling or slipping
-Pain to swelling or bruising on the ankle
-Not able to walk or feel stiff
-Skin colour change
See a doctor immediately if you have one or more sprained ankle symptoms to be examined and treated appropriately.
Diagnosis Ankle Sprain
Initially, the doctor will ask chronologically the occurrence of injury before doing a physical examination. Physical examination includes examination of joint movement and examination of bruising conditions. If the doctor feels there is an awkwardness or the injury looks quite severe, the doctor may suggest some radiological tests, such as X-rays to evaluate the ankle bone structure, CT Scan to see more clearly the bone structure and ligament tissue, or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to analyse the ankle more deeply to the soft tissues of the ankle.
Ankle Sprain Treatment
According to our Ankle Sprain Specialist, Treatment of a mild sprained ankle can be done at home, especially when the injury has just occurred, with the following five steps:
- Use ice wrapped in a towel or ice pack to compress the dislocated parts for 15-20 minutes immediately after injury. Repeat every 2 – 3 hours to maximise the effect. Avoid using ice directly without bandaging a towel or ice pack as it may cause bruising.
- Protect the injured part by binding the elastic cloth or using crutches to reduce the risk of swelling. Make sure the fabric bond is not wrapped too tight because it can withstand blood circulation at the ankle. It is recommended to remove the bond before bed.
- Not doing activities or using footwear that can aggravate injuries, such as doing heavy exercise or using high heels.
- Rest an injured ankle by reducing the burden. It is recommended to use tools such as walking sticks to keep the wrists unencumbered.
Put a sprained ankle higher than the hip using a pillow while sitting or sleeping to reduce swelling.
In addition, you are advised to avoid some things, especially in the time span since the injury, such as compressing or hot water sprinkling on the sprained part, consuming alcohol as it can aggravate bleeding and heal the healing process, and run or massage the injured part.
Together with home-based treatments, your doctor may suggest some solutions to relieve symptoms as well as sprained ankle injuries, such as prescribing painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs that are polished. If you have difficulty walking, your doctor will usually recommend using a tool such as a stick or splint for ease.
Once the swelling or injury has subsided, your doctor may suggest physiotherapy to help restore strength, movement, flexibility, and balance to your ankles. This therapy is very important so that muscles and joints can return to work as before. If you are a sportsman or are fond of exercising, it is advisable to consult a doctor before restarting your sporting activities.
In general, a sprained ankle injury may take 10 days to several weeks to recover, depending on the extent of the injury suffered. Although rare, if symptoms or injuries are not recovered after a variety of treatments, doctors may suggest to perform surgery. There are two types of surgery that are commonly recommended, arthroscopy surgery if suspected bone shift in the ankle joints, or a reconstruction operation to repair a torn ankle ligament tissue by sewing it. The choice of type of operation is adjusted to the depth of injury suffered. After the surgery process, it is advisable to follow the rehabilitation and therapy process in accordance with the doctor’s guidance so that the ankle can recover properly.
Complications of Sprained Ankle
If a sprained ankle is not treated appropriately or repeatedly injured on the same ankle, the patient may experience a series of complications, including severe ankle pain, loss of balance in the ankle joint, to early arthritis of the injured joint.
Sprained Ankle Prevention
A sprained ankle can be prevented by doing some simple things, such as:
- Do warm up before exercising.
- Choosing a sport that matches the body’s abilities.
Reduce speed or stop if it is not able to do physical activity.
Use shoes with the right size and function according to your activity
Maintain flexibility and muscle strength.
Practice maintaining body balance.
- Avoid the use of high heels.
Notice the base of the road being skipped.