Ask the Docs | Ankle Sprains
Posted December 21, 2006
While playing basketball last week I came down wrong on my foot and I think I rolled my ankle. How can I tell if the injury is serious, and when can I return to normal physical activity?
Dr. Johnny Lin:
There are three different levels of severity with ankle sprains (Grade I to Grade III). These different levels of severity also have different levels of treatment and recovery time.
Be advised that nearly 40% of all ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle problems if not properly cared for. Appropriate treatment begins with early application of PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevate). If you exhibit symptoms of a Grade II or Grade III sprain, it’s important to see an orthopaedic physician for a complete evaluation. Your physician will perform a thorough examination of the ankle to make sure that you do not have a fracture or severely torn ligament.
Once you have passed the initial injury phase your physician will recommend that you rehab your ankle with muscle strengthening and range-of-motion exercises. These will allow you to get back in the game faster and safer. It is important to remember that once you have sprained your ankle, strengthening exercises should never cease–even if you wear a brace. This can cause a reoccurrence of the injury, especially if you stop the exercises too early in your rehabilitation.
For more information about Dr. Lin and the Sports Medicine physicians of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, call 877.MD BONES or visit them online at www.rushortho.com.
The information contained on this page is intended only for general public education, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for direct medical advice. This information should not replace necessary medical consultations with a qualified orthopaedic physician.
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