If you recently twisted or sprained your ankle while playing sports, you may try to treat the injury at home. Although ankle sprains may seem simple, the injuries can become worse without the appropriate treatment methods. Improperly treated ankle sprains can lead to arthritis, joint instability, and possibly bone fractures. Here are reasons you shouldn't treat your sprained ankle yourself.
What Are the Risks of Self-Treating Your Injury?
Sprains occur when you forcibly tear or stretch one of the ligaments in your ankle. You can tear or stretch a ligament if you twist your ankle playing tennis, basketball, or running. You can also damage your ankle's ligament if you walk on rough or uneven terrain. Women who wear exceptionally high or strapped heels can also twist their ankles.
You can experience a variety of symptoms after you injure your ankle, including pain and swelling. Some people may develop redness or bruising in their skin. If you don't alleviate the swelling or bruising in your ankle properly, it can become worse over time.
Some adults develop arthritis in their ankle joints as well. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage covering your ankle bones wears away. The ligaments in your ankle can also loosen up over time, which makes your ankle unstable. If your ankle becomes too unstable, you can re-injure it.
Now that you know the negative effects of self-treating your sprained ankle, you can turn to someone who can treat it properly.
How Do You Treat Your Twisted Ankle the Right Way?
The first thing you need to do is schedule a checkup with a doctor, such as an orthopedist or podiatrist. A doctor can use different diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injury, such as X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans. Both tests can reveal the severity, location, extent, and results of your ankle injury.
After a doctor completes your diagnostic exam, they can move forward with the right treatment. If your injury is minor, a doctor may ask you to take pain medication. The medication can help soothe the inflammation, pain, and swelling in your ligaments. A doctor may also secure your ankle with a special foot and ankle brace. The brace prevents the ligaments and joints in your ankle from moving around as they heal.
If your sprained ankle is severe, a doctor may surgically treat it. Ankle sprain surgery may include arthroscopy, bone grafting, and tendinitis treatment services. A doctor will tell you more about your treatment after they examine your ankle.
For more information about treating your sprained ankle properly, contact a doctor or orthopedist today.