A sprain is an injury to the ligaments around a joint. Ligaments are strong, flexible fibers that hold bones together. When a ligament is stretched too far or tears, the joint will become painful and swell.
Sprain is said to be that injury in the ankle of a person which occurs due to the ligaments stretching or if they are torn off.
Generally health professionals describe ankle sprain as the ligaments surrounding the ankle being forced to position in an abnormal manner which is different from the natural position.
Type of injury:
- First grade ankle sprain : These type of sprains occur due to slight stretching which in turn affects the ligaments. In this there is a little swelling with pains. The treatment which should be followed in this is weight bearing, and also full length stretching exercises as could be tolerated by that person.
- Second grade ankle sprain : These types of sprains occur due to some partial tearing of ligaments of the ankle. This type of sprain generally inhibits due to laxity that is abnormal looseness of ankle joint. In this there is swelling and the movement of ankle is slightly decreases. In this certain treatments can be given such as physical therapy or stretching exercises will also do well.
- Third grade ankle sprain : These types of sprains occur due to complete tear of ligaments that is the ligaments in this case are not slightly damaged but are totally torn off. In this case the impairment is severe. People suffering from these types of injuries are given physical treatment but for considerable longer time period.
Sprains are caused when a joint is forced to move into an unnatural position. For example, "twisting" one's ankle causes a sprain to the ligaments around the ankle.
The sprain can happen due to -
- A fall when the person falls with an outstretched arm or slides into something with force and land on side of the foot
- A sudden twist, for example, a sudden twist in the knee with the foot placed firmly on ground
- A blow to the body making the joint getting out of the normal position. It tears or stretches the ligament backing up the joint.
Signs and Symptoms
The general signs and symptoms of sprain are pain, bruising, swelling, instability and loss of ability to move and to make the joint function properly. The signs and symptoms can differ in intensity as per the seriousness of the sprain. At times people feel a pop when the harm happens. The doctor closely observes the injured body part and inquires to get information to diagnose the seriousness and extent of the sprain.
Grade I - Mild SprainMild sprain happens due to overstretching or tearing of ligaments with no instability in joint. The patient generally experiences less pain, swelling and little or no loss in functional ability.
Grade II - Moderate SprainIt is incomplete tearing of ligament identified by bruising, temperate pain and swelling. The patient thus gets unable to put weight on the affected joint and feels loss of function. X ray is required to help the health care supplier makes out whether the fracture has caused the swelling and pain.
Grade III - Severe SprainSevere sprain is the tear or rupture of the ligament causing severe pain, swelling and bruising. X ray helps to make out where the broken bone is. As you diagnose the sprain, the doctor may ask the patient about how the injury has happened.
- Wear protective footwear for activities that place stress on your ankle and other joints.
- Make sure that shoes fit your feet properly.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes.
- Always warm-up and stretch prior to exercise and sports.
- Avoid sports and activities for which you are not conditioned.
Ankle Sprains should not be taken carelessly. In rare cases it is seen that is these sprains are not taken carefully then at times a surgical treatment could be the last option if in case there is least effect of other treatments.
The surgical treatment includes the following:
- Arthroscopy: In this the specialist looks for the torn off ligaments and gives the necessary treatment.
- Reconstruction: In severe cases when the ligaments do not heal over certain period of time, the surgeon gives the treatment by stitching the torn off ligaments in rare cases.
- After the injury, protect the limb from further injury.
- Make the injured limb rest but don't be extremely cut off from all activities.
- After the injury, make the affected area rubbed with a cold pack as soon as possible.
- Make the area compact with the bandage or elastic wrap.
- Lift the injured limb as possible to help prevent or reduce the swelling.
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