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Ankle Sprain Specialist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM -  - Board Certified Podiatrist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM

Board Certified Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Hudson, FL, Brooksville, FL, & Lutz, FL

About 2 million people experience an ankle sprain every year — and up to 47% are recurrent sprains. Backed by multiple board certifications, podiatrist Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, can help you avoid recurrent ankle sprains. He offers skilled hands-on care in three locations in Hudson, Brooksville, and Lutz, Florida, and he welcomes patients from all over the Tampa Bay area. Click on the online scheduling tool or call the nearest office now.

Ankle Sprain Q & A

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain happens when you accidentally push your ankle joint beyond its usual movement span. Usually, this involves twisting, rolling, turning, or folding over the joint, all movements that can cause the ankle's connective ligaments to stretch and tear. 

Ankle sprains can affect anyone, but they frequently occur in athletes or people with prior ankle injuries, those who don't warm up before exercise, and anyone who wears shoes that don't fit. 

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains are very uncomfortable, but the degree of symptoms can vary with the severity of your injury. There are three grades of ankle sprains, each with distinct symptoms.

Grade I sprains

A grade I ankle sprain, the mildest of the three grades, occurs when at least one ankle ligament stretches too much, but doesn't tear. You usually have mild discomfort and swelling, but you can usually still bear weight on the ankle. 

Grade II sprains

A grade II ankle sprain is a partial tear in one or more ankle ligaments. You typically experience moderate discomfort and swelling, and you may have difficulty bearing weight on the affected ankle.

Grade III sprains

Grade III, the most serious kind of ankle sprain, involves one or more complete ligament tears. This grade of ankle sprain causes severe discomfort and swelling, and you're not able to bear weight on your ankle. The joint is abnormally loose during your ankle exam. 

With all three grades of ankle sprain, you may also have significant bruising. 

How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?

Dr. Pappas performs a careful ankle exam, palpating your joint and gently checking its movement, to determine what grade of sprain you have. 

You may also need imaging tests like an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to verify the severity of your injury or to rule out other injuries, such as ankle fractures. 

What is the treatment for an ankle sprain? 

In most cases, ankle sprains respond well to nonoperative treatment. Usually, your treatment starts with ankle rest, compression to reduce swelling, and a brace for protection. Anti-inflammatory medication can ease your discomfort and minimize ankle swelling.

Dr. Pappas generally prescribes physical therapy to improve your strength, flexibility, and range of motion as your ankle heals. 

You return to full activity gradually, using modifications like protective gear to keep your ankle safe and minimize the risk of reinjury. Custom orthotics can also help to keep your ankle and foot properly positioned during recovery and afterward. 

Only the most severe ankle sprains require surgery. Should you need surgery to repair the damaged ligaments, however, Dr. Pappas is ready to help.

If you have an ankle sprain, call the office of Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, or click the online scheduler to book your appointment now.