Treatment for Ankle Sprain – Nonsurgical Vs. Surgical

An ankle sprain is a common injury for active people. A sudden change in direction, a misstep, or a bad landing from a jump or long stride is all it may take to severely sprain your ankle. Orthopaedic surgeons have varied treatment plans for this injury.

Non-Surgical Ankle Sprain Treatment

When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments supporting the ankle become torn or stretched as a result of the improper motion or shift. For more minor sprains, surgery may not be necessary. The first actions orthopaedic surgeons will recommend is to stabilize and rest the ankle. Put on a supportive brace or bandage wrap to apply compression. This will help alleviate swelling and provide some pain relief. Your doctor may also recommend pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to aid your healing process.  Apply ice to the area to further improve the swelling. Keep the ankle elevated and rest it as much as possible, because the longer you rest the abused ankle, the better it will heal. Getting back on a sprain too soon greatly increases your chances of repeated sprains and instability of your ankle.

Sprains are rated by grades of severity, and typically Grade I and II sprains will be treated non-surgically at first. Orthopaedic surgeons may also prescribe rehabilitation or exercise to build strength in the ankle and improve the flexibility of the joint, especially after the stiffness and soreness of the sprain subsides.

Surgical Treatment

For people who repeatedly sprain their ankle, the ligaments may have become too loose and stretched to properly support the joint. In this case, orthopaedic surgeons may perform a procedure to tighten the loose ligaments. In more extreme circumstances you may require a tendon graft. The surgeon will use a tendon graft to reinforce the strength of your own anatomy. Grade III ankle sprains sometimes result in the need for one of these procedures, to restore function and stability in the ankle.

After you recover from surgery, your doctor will want you to go through adequate rehabilitation to get back on your feet. Commit to the process completely so that you can return to your normal activities in full.

Ankle sprains can be terribly painful and in some cases are even more difficult to heal than a fracture. Consult with orthopaedic surgeons immediately if you sprain your ankle to obtain the appropriate treatment right away.

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