When you sprain your ankle for the very first time, your ligaments sustain damage, tearing and stretching. The good news is that, with proper timely care from a podiatrist, a sprain can be a minor set-back, and rest and minor rehabilitation can make the ligaments strong again.
The bad news, however, is that if you are one of those people who try to self-treat an ankle sprain, you are more susceptible to repeat injuries. In any subsequent sprain you incur, your ligaments can be stretched so badly that they lose all tension and stability. This can trigger a vicious cycle of sprain after sprain, resulting in severe, chronic ankle pain.
The discomfort isn’t just a nuisance—if you had a sprained ankle that you left untreated, you are at risk of developing cysts or bone lesions, which could only be discovered with an MRI, not an X-Ray. At that point, your treatment plan will be more complex than if you had been seen immediately after the first sprain. In fact, a chronic ankle sprain could be more serious than a fracture, since it can lead to tendonitis or bone injuries. Some ankle sprains can become so serious they may even require surgery to repair the damage.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve sprained your ankle, look for signs like swelling, bruising and difficulty walking, as these indicate an injury worth having your Houston podiatrist examine. The sooner you see Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists after a suspected sprain, the sooner we can determine what kind of ankle injury you have sustained. With any luck, we can set you on a course of treatment that will have you back on your feet in no time, free of the worry of long-term ligament damage and future chronic injuries.