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Ankle Sprains: Diagnosis & Prognosis
- Dr. Ahmadi
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What exactly is an ankle sprain?
To put it simply, an ankle sprain occurs when the foot goes one way and the leg goes another way. This movement causes a ligament to tear or break, which in turn causes the ankle to sprain. Unlike a twisted ankle, a sprain will cause swelling and much more intense pain – in fact, it is common to mistake an ankle sprain for a broken bone.
How serious are ankle sprains?
Symptoms of an ankle sprain include swelling, pain and, occasionally bruising. Ankle sprains can be anywhere from mild to severe and can happen to anyone. Some patients even express that severe sprains make it feel as though the ankle is no longer attached to the body. Sprains are very common – nearly everyone has experienced one at least once – but they are seen very often in athletes because of the quick movement changes that must be made during high impact sports.
How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?
A doctor will use a variety of methods to diagnose an ankle sprain. The most commonly used one is a physical examination of the ankle to take note of any discoloration or swelling. Often, it is hard for doctors to tell whether the ankle is sprained or broken based solely on what the patient has described about the injury and from an external physical exam. As a result, your doctor might order an x-ray to rule out the possibility of a broken ankle. If there are no breaks in the bone, the injury will be treated as a sprain.
How can I heal a sprained ankle?
The most significant aspect of healing a sprained ankle is to keep from reinjuring it. This is accomplished by a combination of methods including rest, splints and, in some cases, casts. Your physician will decide which treatment method is best, but casts are generally only used for individuals that are not able to stay still on their own, like children. To help keep swelling down, patients with sprained ankles may be told to use a combination of heat and ice therapy.
Prescription pain medication may be prescribed for more severe cases, but most patients will only need an over the counter pain medication to stay comfortable. Another important aspect to healing a sprained ankle is to get treatment as quickly as possible, because an untreated sprained ankle can lead to bone fractures or other further injury if you’re not careful. The prognosis for sprained ankles is good, and most patients heal without any long term damage.
Dr. Matt Ahmadi is a leading Foot Doctor (Podiatrist) in Mission Viejo. Dr. Ahmadi is a Board Certified Foot Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Ahmadi is a leading foot and ankle doctor, who has earned the Doctor of Podiatric Medicinedegree from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. He completed his post graduate training in Podiatric medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery at the Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Ahmadi´s residency consisted of three intense surgical years at a level one trauma center where he performed advanced procedures in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.
Dr. Ahmadi specializes in reconstructive surgical and non-surgical care for children and adults as well as a wide variety of foot and ankle diseases and disorders. He places emphasis on educating patients about the function and dynamics of the foot and ankle in order to prevent future problems.