ANKLE SPRAIN TREATMENT

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WHAT CAUSES AN ANKLE SPRAIN? 

Ankle sprains occur when patients twist or roll their ankle, especially in activities that include sudden or forceful side-to-side motions. Acute ankle sprains can often be treated with physical therapy, bracing, ice and anti-inflammatory medications depending on the severity of the injury.

If acute ankle sprains are treated incorrectly, patients may return to activity too soon. In such cases, the damaged ankle ligaments may heal in a stretched position, leading to chronic instability. Patients with a history of ankle sprains may eventually require stabilization surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon.

At G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our Foot and Ankle Specialist Dr. Anson Chu is dedicated to establishing the best possible treatment plan for any given injury, using surgery only when other nonsurgical treatments are insufficient.

ANKLE SPRAIN TREATMENT IN RICHMOND, VA

There are three primary treatment options available when a patient experiences an ankle sprain, depending on the severity of the sprain. Speak with your doctor to determine which treatment method is right for your injury based on your goals and lifestyle needs. The most common forms of treatment for a sprained ankle are as follows:

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IMMEDIATE ANKLE SPRAIN TREATMENT

Immediately after an ankle sprain occurs, the primary focus should be on decreasing pain and swelling, as well as protecting the ligaments in your ankle from any further injury. Follow the “RICE” method and give your foot ample amounts of rest, ice, compression and elevation while you schedule a consultation with our specialists at G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

Depending on the severity of your pain, you may want to rest your ankle as much as possible for the first full day or two, up to 48 hours. Using a towel draped over the ankle to protect the skin, ice the ankle for about 15-20 minutes, 3-5 times a day or until you notice a decrease in swelling. You may also submerge the affected foot and ankle in cold water in lieu of an ice pack if you so choose. Avoid hot showers, heat packs or heat rubs which may increase swelling.

Compress the ankle with a wrap such as an ACE bandage, elastic ankle sleeve or some other form of elasticized bandage. While at rest, either sitting or laying down, elevate your ankle as high as you can without any discomfort. The height of your hip is ideal, if possible. You may also wish to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling, minimize pain and speed up the recovery process.

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LATERAL ANKLE STABILIZATION SURGERY

Once you have scheduled a consultation to discuss the severity and treatment options for your sprained ankle, Dr. Chu will go over any and all nonsurgical treatment methods prior to any kind of surgical treatment. In the case of severe instability or chronic ankle pain, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention such as Lateral Ankle Stabilization Surgery.

Lateral Ankle Stabilization Surgery consists of the repair and tightening of the damaged ligaments affected by your sprained ankle. In some instances, augmentation of the damaged ligaments may be necessary depending on the severity of the sprain.

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ARTHROSCOPIC ANKLE SURGERY

Ankle Arthroscopy is a type of surgery involving minimal incision sites and the utilization of a camera as guidance within the ankle joint. The camera allows the surgeon to properly see within the ankle joint without substantial invasive incisions. In this procedure, the surgeon is able to diagnose and repair diseased or injured structures within the ankle.

Arthroscopic ankle surgery is used in conjunction with lateral ankle stabilization to clear out synovitis (inflammation, swelling or pain) following the ankle sprain. This surgery is typically used for those with early-stage arthritis, osteochondral lesions or ankle impingement.

This form of arthroscopic surgery allows for decreased recovery times compared to other types of surgery. Patients who receive this treatment are able to bear weight early in their postoperative course, and the small incision points allow for a smoother, faster recovery process after surgery. However, this procedure does have some limitations and a discussion between you and your surgeon as to whether ankle arthroscopy is the right choice for you.

WHAT DO I DO FOR A SPRAINED ANKLE?

If you or someone you know has experienced an ankle sprain, follow the RICE method and contact G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 804-678-9000. Whether you’re a recreation athlete, injured worker or simply an individual looking for a second professional opinion on your injury and treatment options, Dr. Chu is passionate about providing each patient with the quality of care given to professional athletes. Call or visit us today to set up your first appointment with our nationally recognized care team.

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