Your feet and ankles have difficult jobs, carrying your entire body weight while moving you from place to place. While they do an amazing job with a minimum of fuss, it doesn’t take all that much to cause an injury, particularly to your ankle. Though there’s already a reasonable range of motion in the ankle joint, there are some ways it’s just not supposed to move.
A twist, turn, roll, or another awkward movement can stretch and damage the tissue that controls and stabilizes your ankle. Your injury could be mild, moderate, or severe, and in some cases, you may suspect your ankle is broken.
Podiatrist Errol Gindi, DPM specializes in diagnosing ankle sprains, giving you the appropriate treatment for your injury, and getting you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Dr. Gindi has two offices you can visit when you suffer an ankle or foot injury.
Ankle sprain symptoms
Chances are you’re aware something happened at the moment of the event. Your foot moved in an awkward way, your ankle twisted or rolled, and sensations of pain were likely sudden and severe. The pain continued as you tried to put weight on your foot, and your ankle was tender to the touch.
You may have had bruising at the location, and your ankle was probably swollen. You may remember a pop sound or sensation at the time of the injury. If you could put any weight on your foot at all, your ankle felt unstable and it didn’t have its usual range of motion.
What happened to your ankle?
Ligaments are the stabilizers of joints and your ankles are no exception. When you sprain your ankle, you stretch or tear the ligaments beyond the normal limits of their motion. In most cases, your ankle sprain affects the ligaments on the outside, away from the other leg.
A sprain occurs from something as simple as walking on an uneven surface, but it could also be due to inappropriate or ill-fitting shoes. High heels always carry a sprain risk, no matter how well they fit. If you play sports, particularly those requiring fast turns and jumping, it’s easier for you to turn an ankle in the heat of the moment. Previous ankle sprains and injuries increase your chances of reinjury.
Is your ankle broken?
Since a break shares many of the same symptoms as a sprain, you may not know if your injury is a sprain, a fracture, or a combination. There are four signs that may help you recognize a break.
- Noise: sprains are silent or accompanied by a popping sound if they’re severe, while a cracking sound likely means a fracture
- Sensation: ankle sprains hurt, so if you experience tingling or numbness, you probably have a fracture
- Location: if the sore spots on your ankle are in the soft, fleshy parts then it’s probably a sprain because pain over a bony part means a broken bone
- Shape: after a sprain, your ankle still looks like your ankle, though with some swelling, so if there are any odd angles you should suspect a fracture
Contact Errol Gindi, DPM any time you suspect something is wrong with your ankle, even if you’re unsure of the severity.