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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
September 08, 2016
Tags: Ankle Sprains  

If you were following the Olympics this summer you were most likely wowed by Simone Biles and the rest of the gold-medal winning women’s gymnastics team. One of the areas of prime concern for gymnasts is ankle sprains. Floor routines, flips, landings from beam and bars all carry a potential ankle injury risk. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want patients to be informed about recognizing this injury and seeking treatment promptly.

What Exactly is a Sprain?

The sport of gymnastics provides a good framework for understanding an ankle sprain. Quite simply, a sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones of the foot and ankle are overstretched or torn, usually do to a sudden force or impact exerted on them. If the ankle rolls outward as the foot rolls inward it results in an inversion injury. If the ankle rolls outward and the foot inward, that’s called an eversion injury.

Ankle injuries are graded according to severity:

Grade 1: Ligament is overstretched and slightly torn. Symptoms will be soreness accompanied by swelling and stiffness.  Walking is somewhat painful but possible.

 Grade 2: Tear is bigger but not all the way through. Ankle will be more bruised and tender to the touch. Patient will have a fair amount of pain and swelling and moving the ankle will be painful.

 Grade 3: One or more ligaments are completely torn and the swelling and bruising is severe. The ankle is extremely painful and bearing weight may not even be possible.

When to Call the Foot Doctor

If you believe you may have sprained your ankle and the pain is not excruciating, you can try resting it and following the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you notice any of the following, you need to have our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, take a look at your ankle immediately:

  • Your foot or lower leg is twisted in an abnormal way (go directly to the emergency room)

  • You or someone nearby heard a popping sound at the moment of injury

  • Pain, accompanied by swelling and bruising in the ankle

  • Numbness and tingling in the injured area

  • You are unable to bear weight on the ankle or feel like you are going to fall when walking on it

  • It’s been more than 2 weeks and your ankle is still bruised, swollen and in pain

Ankle sprains that are not treated promptly or fully healed will most likely result in future sprains and chronic ankle problems. When in doubt, contact our Washington office for an evaluation by calling: (724) 225-7410.

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