Similar to an ankle sprain, a foot sprain often result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow that forces a foot joint out of its normal position. Foot sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface. Sometimes these sprains occur because of weak joints, while previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the foot and lead to sprains. Common foot sprains including Turf Toe injuries involving the big toe joint and a Lis Franc injury that disrupts the joints that make up the arch of the foot. If left untreated, these injuries can cause lingering pain and can lead to long-term joint problems such as arthritis.
As with a foot sprain, an ankle sprain typically happens when you least expect it. Many ankle injuries occur while running, playing a sporting activity, and sometimes just while walking. A severe ankle sprain can occur while walking down stairs and accidently missing the bottom step or simply stepping in a hole in the ground. Regardless of the mechanism of injury, twisting the ankle in an abnormal motion typically results with an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle, usually on the outside of the ankle. Ligaments are bands of tissue—like rubber bands—that connect one bone to another and bind the joints together. In the ankle joint, ligaments provide stability by limiting side-to-side movement and the severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.
Symptoms & Treatment
Symptoms may vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain. Look for common symptoms like pain, swelling, bruising, unsteady and difficulty walking, and stiffness. Sometimes pain and swelling are absent in people with previous foot and ankle sprains—instead, they may simply feel the ankle is wobbly and unsteady when they walk. Even if you don’t have pain or swelling with a sprained ankle, treatment is crucial. Any ankle sprain—whether it’s your first or your fifth—requires prompt medical attention. If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, contact your foot and ankle surgeon for an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, immediately begin using the “R.I.C.E.” method—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation—to help reduce swelling, pain, and further injury. Da Vinci Foot and Ankle has a variety of treatment options to get you healed quickly including supportive braces, protective boots, MLS Laser Therapy, and Surgical Options.