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Footworks Podiatry Singapore

Ankle Sprain Injury

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Ankle sprains are common injuries that affect people of all age groups and activity levels. They are often the main cause of missing out on athletic participation and they can also negatively impact day-to-day activities such as walking

These sprains occur when the strong ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched beyond their limits, resulting in tears. Some sprains recover easily and some may need rehabilitation to ensure a safe return to activities.  The severity of a sprain can differ widely based on the number of involved ligaments and the extent of damage sustained.

Conservative treatments, such as basic rehabilitation exercises, ice application, elevation, and over-the-counter drugs, are usually sufficient for most sprains to heal. However, if there is persistent swelling or pain lasting for several weeks despite these measures, or if bearing weight on the ankle becomes increasingly difficult, a thorough examination might be essential to rule out severe sprains or fractures. Some have loose ligaments and are more prone to sprains than others. These people should avoid ankle sprains as they can lead to weakened ankles.

Neglecting a chronic or untreated severe sprain may lead to weakened ankles and an increased risk of re-injury, highlighting the importance of proper ankle injury treatment and rehabilitation. Having repeated ankle sprain in Singapore can ultimately lead to instability, arthritis, and long-term issues such as chronic ankle pain.

Common Causes of Ankle Sprains

Engaging in activities where your heel is elevated, and toes are on the ground – such as jogging, cross-training, or even walking – heightens the risk of ankle sprain in Singapore. This posture places the ankle's ligaments under tension, rendering them susceptible to stretching or tearing. These activities need not be avoided. However, strengthening may be necessary. Additionally, the ankle may also turn wrongly due to a fall or other unexpected force, such as falling on an uneven surface.

Common Causes and Risk Factors

  • Using an uneven surface for cross-training, walking, or running

  • Twisting the ankle after a fall

  • Sports that involve abrupt changes in direction, such as basketball, tennis, or soccer.

Recognising Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

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Varying widely in type and intensity based on the injury's severity, there are many ways to identify symptoms of ankle sprain. In Singapore, where everyone is constantly moving about in the fast-paced city, it’s important to diagnose ankle sprains before they worsen. Generally, these symptoms include:

  • Swelling around the ankle and foot area.

  • Bruising near the affected ankle region.

  • Tenderness to touch.

  • Instability and weakness in ankle joints.

In severe sprains, a distinct "pop" sound or sensation may be experienced during the injury. Given the potential difficulty in distinguishing between sprains and fractured bones, it's important to get your injury checked promptly by an ankle sprain specialist.     

Classification of Ankle Sprains

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Ankle Sprain Treatment

Ankle sprain treatments generally fall into three categories:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Home Treatment

  • Surgical Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatment

Surgery isn't always necessary, even for severe ankle sprains. Grade 3 injuries can often heal without surgery through correct rest and rehabilitation. A three-phase plan can be implemented for all levels:

Phase 1: Immobilization and Rest

  • Brief immobilization facilitates healing and reduces swelling.

  • Rest, ice, and early weight-bearing expedite recovery.

  • Supportive aids like footwear and aircast boots

Plan 2: Functional Rehabilitation

  • Exercises for balance, isometric strength, and range of motion.

  • Restoring ankle mobility prevents stiffness.

Plan 3: Gradual Return

  • Progressive strengthening and reintroduction of activities.

  • Footwear modification and orhtoics in some cases  

  • Ankle taping or bracing might be necessary.


Home Treatment

Home treatment primarily involves adhering to the RICE procedure, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The primary goal is to alleviate pain, curb swelling, and prevent further ligament damage. For intense pain and swelling within the first 24-48 hours, rest is crucial. Apply ice to the foot and ankle region for 15-20 minutes, three times a day, ensuring to use a towel to shield the skin.

Compress the ankle with an elasticized wrap, such as an ACE bandage or elastic ankle sleeve, to reduce swelling. Elevate the ankle as high as possible when seated, ideally reaching hip height. Avoid hot showers, hot packs, or heat rubs within the first 24 hours.

Surgical Treatment

Severe ankle sprains necessitating surgical intervention often involve substantial ligament tears. Surgical options encompass:

  • Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure involving a tiny camera (called an arthroscope) inserted into the ankle joint. Surgical instruments are then used to repair or rebuild the damaged ligaments.

  • Open Surgery: In some cases, open surgery may be required to treat associated injuries or repair torn ligaments directly. This approach requires a wider incision and is more invasive.

  • Post-Surgery Rehabilitation: Following surgical treatment, rehabilitation with the physical therapist's support is essential. This aids in expediting recovery by restoring ankle strength, flexibility, and function.

Choose Footworks Podiatry To Treat Your Ankle Injury

You can trust Footworks Podiatry to provide comprehensive care for your foot and ankle problems. Our podiatrist specializes in identifying, managing, and preventing injuries. From complete assessments to personalized ankle injury treatment plans, your comfort and mobility are our priority.

Our experience will aid you in achieving a successful recovery, regardless of what stage you are at. Sprains should not stop you from the activities you love.

Schedule an appointment with our ankle sprain specialist for a consultation and embark on your journey to a healthier foot and ankle. Come to us for comprehensive foot care solutions.

We have appointments available immediately. Call us today to book an appointment for ankle strains treatment with our podiatrist at +65 9437 1000 

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