Ankle sprain

I Sprained My Ankle: Is Surgery Necessary?

The ankle joint is fantastic, because its flexibility. It enables us to perform a variety of motions and is pivotal in our ability to participate in any kind of sport. Because its stability mainly depends on ligaments, the ankle joint is also very vulnerable to sports injuries. In fact, the sprain or strain of the ligaments of the ankle is one of the most common sports injuries.

The ligaments of the ankle can easily be damaged when they are heavily loaded. While performing a sport, the likelihood of an ankle injury can vary from person to person based on the strength of the ankle and the person’s ability to control movements of the ankle.


Sprained Ankle: What to look for

A sprain of the ankle joint results in swelling and pain. The swelling can be combined with a bruise. The extent of bruising and swelling are indirect signs of the severity of the injury. With any ankle injury, the bones of the foot and ankle need to be examined for fractures. If the bones of the ankle are not injured, it can be determined that the pain and swelling is from a sprain or partial tear of the ligaments of the ankle.


Treatment of a Sprained Ankle

Surgery is not necessary for the treatment of an acute sprain with injured ligaments. The treatment of choice in case of an acute injury is conservative: P.R.I.C.E. Protection-Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation. After reduction of the acute symptoms, treatment with a special ankle orthotic and physiotherapy are recommended. Usually this treatment leads to full recovery.

For patients that have repeat injuries to the ankle or that have continued pain after a single injury, surgery may be performed. During surgery, the torn ankle ligaments are reinserted to the bone. Surgery is followed by cast immobilization and physiotherapy.

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