Most of us have rolled or twisted our ankles at some point in our lives, and it hurts! For some people, it happens much more often and easily than for others. So how do you tell if you twisted, rolled, or sprained your ankle? How bad can sprains be? How is the severity of an ankle sprain determined? Last but not least, what’s the difference between rolling, twisting, and spraining your ankle?
Of course the questions seem never-ending when a new topic is introduced, but that’s why we strive to give you as much information as possible in each of our articles. Let’s take a look at the difference between each of these kinds of injuries, what symptoms to look for, and how sprained ankles are diagnosed.
Rolled, Twisted, or Sprained?
Essentially, these three different names refer to the same kind of injury on a less-severe to more-severe scale. Most sprains are caused by a combination of movements: inversion, where the foot turns inward too much, and plantarflexion, where the foot and ankle point downward too much. Sprains are also commonly caused by landing too hard or landing awkwardly. Athletes are most susceptible to ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are graded on a scale of one two three and involve the tearing of ligaments in the ankle.
- A grade 1 sprain involves minimal pain and doesn’t affect the function of the foot. This type of sprain doesn’t have any long-term effects on the foot and will heal fairly quickly for most people with proper care.
- A grade 2 sprain is more severe and involves more ligaments tearing. There is a loss of joint stability and movement may be limited due to pain.
- A grade 3 sprain involves severe ligament tearing and a loss of function. Joint stability is greatly affected and significant healing is necessary. There may be permanent damage if proper care isn’t provided.
Most ankle sprains fall into category 2.
Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle
If you sprain your ankle, you may notice a tearing, snapping, or clicking sound when the sprain occurs. This is usually followed by swelling, bruising, and pain. In mild cases, you may be able to continue activity, but chances are that swelling, stiffness, and pain will increase, especially after resting such as first thing in the morning.
In more severe cases, the pain will be worse and you won’t be able to bear weight on your foot because of it. There will also be a fast onset of swelling and bruising may develop over the course of the next few days.
Sprained ankles generally aren’t pleasant, so if you suspect that you sprained your ankle and aren’t sure how to go about helping it heal, please give us a call at Milwaukee Foot & Ankle Specialists! Sprained ankles can be debilitating and, in extreme cases, cause permanent injury, so it’s important to be checked out by a specialist. We’re here to help – same day appointments are available, so call us today at 414-439-2279.