Ankle Pain/Sprain

What is Causing My Ankle Pain?

Ankle pain can be troubling, especially if it’s recurrent or persistent. Excluding a congenital defect or ankle fracture, ankle sprains are one of the most common causes of ankle pain.

What Is a Sprained Ankle?

Sprained ankles are common injuries that occur when the ankle ligaments, which support and protect your ankle, are either overstretched or torn.

This happens for a variety of reasons, including excessive force, twisting, or rolling of the ankle joint. Although painful, most ankle sprains do heal on their own.

Sprained ankles can occur at any age, though they are most commonly seen in athletes who play high-intensity sports.

Types of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are categorized by three different grades: mild, moderate, and severe.

Grade I: Mild ankle sprains are classified as Grade I. The ligamentous structures are only minimally stretched at the time of injury. You may experience mild pain or tenderness around the ankle joint with minimal to no swelling.

Grade II: These types of ankle sprains are moderate in severity. The ankle ligaments may tear but are not severely torn. Grade II ankle sprains are usually more painful than Grade I and are often accompanied by mild to moderate swelling. You may have limited mobility and have trouble bearing weight on your injured ankle.

Grade III: If you suffer a Grade III ankle sprain, the ligaments are usually completely torn. You may experience significant pain and swelling and be unable to walk without assistance.

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

Pain is the most common symptom of a sprained ankle. However, you may also experience point tenderness (pain upon touching), swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight.

woman stopped on the road on a knee holding her ankle in pain

Treatments for Ankle Sprains

Non-Surgical

The treatment for an ankle sprain depends on its severity. Most ankle sprains can be treated non-surgically with the PRICE method.

PRICE is a medical acronym that stands for:

  • Protection
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Protection: For the first 24 to 48 hours, you should use crutches or an ankle stabilization brace and try to limit your activity.

Rest: You should limit weight-bearing activities that put undue stress on your ankle. Avoid high-intensity exercise and long periods of standing.

Ice: Apply ice to the affected ankle in 10-to-15-minute increments. This will help reduce the swelling and alleviate ankle tenderness.

Compression: Use an ACE bandage or other type of compression wrap to avoid re-injury, improve stability, and reduce swelling. Avoid wrapping your ankle overly tight.

Elevate: While sitting or lying down, use pillows to elevate your ankle above your heart. This will also help reduce the pain and swelling.

Surgical Intervention

Severe ankle sprains (Grade III) that don’t heal or result in recurrent ankle instability may require surgical intervention.

There are several types of surgical procedures that can repair torn ligaments and restore ankle stability.

Some of the most common procedures include:

  • Modified Brostrom
  • Arthroscopic ankle repair
  • Evans ankle reconstruction
  • Chrisman-Snook approach

The modified Brostrom procedure tightens the ankle ligaments and tendons. In many cases, it restores the natural anatomical alignment of the ankle.

Arthroscopic ankle repair involves using an arthroscope. Through tiny ports, your surgeon advances the scope to diagnose torn ligaments and tendons.

Other types of ankle reconstruction, like Evans and the Chrisman-Snook approach, are all performed to help you regain ankle stability and full function of your foot and ankle.

woman walking on a path through a park

Contact Us Today for Ankle Pain and Ankle Sprains

Whether you’re suffering from recurrent ankle instability or an ankle sprain, we’re here to help. At Midwest Podiatry Centers, our experienced physicians are dedicated to providing you with the best surgical and non-surgical treatment of your foot and ankle needs.

Call us at (612) 788-8778 or request an appointment online to get you the help you need with your ankle pain.