Spring is Ankle Sprain Season
Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors. It is also ankle sprain season for my practice as a foot and ankle surgeon. Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury I treat at this time of year. As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer.
Anyone who inures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it’s their first sprain or their fifth. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. A sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.
Many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) consumer website, www.Foothealthfacts.org, recommends the following 3 ankle sprain prevention tips:
- Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.
- Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis or basketball.
- Wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.
Following these simple guidelines should help to keep you moving and sprain free this summer.