Did You Make The Grade? The 3 Grades Of Ankle Sprains
Your ankles are imperative parts of your body's movement, but you probably do not place much importance on this joint. Unfortunately, it takes a great deal of abuse over the course of one day just while walking, running, standing, and moving. Due to this, it is easy to see why an estimated 25,000 people sprain their ankles each day. Treating this injury will depend on its severity, which is measured in grades. With this guide and the help of your doctor, you will understand the symptoms and treatments for the 3 grades of ankle sprains.
Grade 1 – Stretched Ligaments
When you twist your ankle, the ligaments will stretch. However, excessive and forceful stretching of these ligaments will result in a grade-1 ankle sprain. Although each person's injury is different, this common injury will cause moderate pain, swelling, and stiffness of the ankle joint. You will most likely struggle walking, jumping, running, and climbing. Also, most people with a grade-1 sprain will be unable to balance on the injured ankle.
Managing your pain and healing the grade-1 sprain will require R.I.C.E therapy. Using the R.I.C.E formula, you will need to make sure to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the ankle each day.
Reduce the amount of walking and standing you do each day. Avoid exercising and playing sports, as well. This will give your ankle the rest it needs.
Place an icepack on your ankle for a few minutes each day. The ice will not only numb your pain, but it will also decrease swelling.
Make sure to keep your ankle wrapped at all times with a compression bandage. Compress wrap and splints will keep the ankle stable, reducing the risk of further damage to the ligaments.
Lastly, elevating the ankle on a pillow is also essential. Elevating the injured ankle will improve blood circulation, which reduces swelling and pain.
Grade 2 – Partial Tears
In more serious injuries, the ligaments of your ankle may partially tear. These tears will cause a good amount of discomfort, but they will also prevent you from moving your ankle in any manner. Ligament tears may cause your ankle to swell and bruise.
Your doctor will advise you to complete R.I.C.E therapy for an extended period of time to prevent further, more permanent damage to the ankle ligaments.
Grade 3 – Complete Tear
If you are experiencing severe pain, swelling, bruising, and immobility, you may have a grade-3 ankle sprain, which involves a complete tear of the ligaments. In some instances of these tears, you may hear an actual popping or ripping of the ligament.
Utilizing R.I.C.E therapy to heal your ankle tear may work, but recovery can be long and stressful. Most doctors will recommend arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn ligament of the ankle. While slightly invasive, the surgery is an effective and efficient option for grade-3 ankle sprains.
During the procedure, a small camera is inserted into an incision in the ankle. Your surgeon will remove any bone or cartilage fragments in the injured ankle. Torn ligaments are then repaired. If necessary, tissue grafts will be used to restore severe tears in the ankle ligaments.
After your surgery, you will be able to walk slowly using crutches and other mobility aids. Recovery time will depend on your specific injury and your overall health. An estimated 70 to 90 percent of patients see significant improvement after the ankle arthroscopic surgery.
Ankle sprains may be common injuries, but most people do not fully understand the symptoms and treatment options. This guide and your doctor will help you diagnose and treat your specific grade of ankle sprains. Check out websites like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com for more information.