Types of Ankle Sprains and How to Treat Them

The doctors at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers have seen each type of ankle sprain with all levels of severity. They have worked with clients to shorten recovery time for the best long-term ability to walk unaided.
Let’s take a look at the types of ankle sprains to understand this pain better.
Types of Ankle Sprains
Inversion or Lateral - The inversion/lateral sprain occurs when your foot twists upward and inward while your ankle rolls out. This upward and inward twist of the foot causes stretching or tearing of the ligaments on the outside of the foot. This is the most common ankle sprain.
Eversion or Medial - You will know if you have an eversion/medial sprain if your foot twists out when your ankle rolls in. This type of injury causes pain on the inside of your ankle where the ligaments stretch or tear. 
High Ankle - A forceful upward or outward movement of the foot or when you plant a foot and rotate the leg toward the inside. This type of ankle sprain is the least common.
The symptoms you experience depend on how damaged your ankle became during the injuring event. There are three levels of severity for ankle sprains: I, II, and III.
  • Level I - The ankle experiences slight ligament stretching or tearing. The patient feels some stiffness, swelling, and tenderness. You should still be able to walk with minimal discomfort.
  • Level II - This is a more severe yet still incomplete tear of the ligament(s) in your ankle. You will feel moderate bruising, pain, and swelling. The area will be tender, and walking will cause additional pain.
  • Level III - This is the most extreme ankle sprain with a complete tear in the affected ligament(s). You will most likely notice intense bruising and swelling. Walking is not possible at this point.
For the proper and complete treatment of your ankle sprain, no matter the type or severity, please seek medical attention from a certified, experienced podiatrist such as one from the Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers. In general, you will use the progress through the following phases. We describe the RICE protocol afterward. Use this protocol for your home treatment in addition to the treatment your trained podiatrist suggests.
Phases of Treatment
  • Phase 1 - Rest and Protect your ankle.
  • Phase 2 - Restore your range of motion, strength, and flexibility.
  • Phase 3 - Slow return to mild active use through exercises and routines that do not involve sharp turns or twists of the ankle.
RICE Protocol:
Rest - Stay off your ankle, entirely if possible.
Ice - Use ice to control swelling. With a barrier between your skin and the ice, spend 20-30 minutes at a time icing your ankle.
Compression - Wrap or bandage your ankle. This will prevent further damage. 
Elevate - Especially during the first 48 hours, keep your ankle above your heart.
Here at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, our foot doctors, Anthony Benenati, DPM, Neil Shaw, DPM, Julie Mrozek, DPM and Adam Thompson, DPM, can provide you with expert treatment. We’ll give your ankles the best chance of a lasting recovery so that they do not sprain on a frequent basis. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We have offices conveniently located in Saint Clair Shores, Warren and Macomb, MI. 

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