Ankle sprains are common injuries that most people take in stride, yet up to 70% of people end up with long-lasting ankle problems, even when their first sprain seems mild. You can prevent chronic ankle pain and instability by scheduling an evaluation with the experienced podiatrists at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery. They provide the comprehensive treatment you need to fully heal and restore optimal ankle strength and function. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Burbank, Northridge, or Santa Clarita, California, or use the online booking feature today!

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What causes ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains occur when you overstretch, partially tear, or fully rupture a ligament in your ankle joint. Sprains often happen when you twist your ankle, an accident that often happens while walking on an uneven surface or by turning your ankle when stepping off a curb.

You have a higher risk of sustaining a sprained ankle if you participate in sports, especially sports requiring sudden movement changes like pivoting and cutting. You could also sustain an ankle sprain from a fall or by taking a blow that forces the ankle out of position.

What symptoms occur due to a sprained ankle?

Ankle sprains usually cause immediate and often severe pain. In addition to pain, you may experience:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Joint stiffness
  • Difficulty walking

Most people can’t put their full weight on the sprained ankle.

How do ankle sprains cause chronic instability?

Ankle ligaments stabilize the joint by limiting side-to-side movement. If you keep using a sprained ligament without giving it enough time to heal, it can’t regain full strength.

Instead, the ligament progressively weakens and causes recurrent sprains, a condition called chronic instability. Once the ankle loses stability, you can sprain your ankle with very little force.

You can prevent chronic instability and restore optimal ligament strength by seeking immediate treatment, even if your sprain seems mild.

How are ankle sprains treated?

Your Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery provider completes a physical exam and may order X-rays or other diagnostic imaging to see the extent of your injury.

In addition to evaluating the severity of your sprain, they may want to rule out other foot injuries that commonly occur at the same time people sprain their ankle.

Your treatment depends on the severity of the sprain. You may need taping, a brace, a walking boot, or other supports to stabilize the ligament and keep weight off the ankle. You also start a rehabilitation regimen as soon as possible, beginning with exercises to strengthen the ankle and improve movement.

Though surgery is usually the last treatment option, ankle sprains are often an exception. If you have a severe sprain or rupture, you may need reconstructive surgery to restore ankle strength and function.

Even if you think you have a minor sprain, don’t wait to have it evaluated at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Call the office or book an appointment online today.