Ankle Sprains: Podiatric Evaluation and Treatment Strategies


Our team of podiatry specialists at Podiatry Associates of Houston offers the communities of Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy, Willowbrook, and Woodlands in Houston, TX, skilled care for sports injuries and other podiatric conditions.

What Is Considered an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains are a common phenomenon that almost anyone is susceptible to. Strong ligaments support the ankle, and when they are twisted awkwardly or stretched beyond their limits to the point where they may tear, it's called an ankle sprain.

An ankle sprain may be caused by exercising or walking on an uneven surface, accidentally falling, tripping, or slipping, or participating in certain sports like trail running, soccer, and other sports that require jumping or leaping.

Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain

The symptoms of an ankle sprain depend largely on the severity of the ligament tears and how many are torn. Most patients experience some pain, discomfort, swelling, and difficulty walking. There may also be tenderness and bruising as well as the feeling of instability on the ankle.

When the ankle sprain occurs, you may also hear a popping sound. In the case of severe sprains, your symptoms may mimic a fracture, and we always recommend seeking immediate medical attention under these circumstances.

Evaluating an Ankle Sprain

The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston offers care for sports injuries within communities of Houston, TX, and will evaluate your ankle injury in the following ways:

  • Observation, including comparing your ankles.
  • Palpitations to assess which of the ligaments may be affected.
  • Testing your ankle’s stability and range of motion by moving your ankle in a controlled manner.

To make a conclusive diagnosis, our podiatrist may recommend an imaging test. After assessment, your podiatrist will grade your ankle sprain between 1 – 3 based on the severity of your injury.

Treatment Strategies for an Ankle Sprain

Treatment is usually conservative and follows 3 phases:

  • In phase 1, immobilization, rest, and icing of the affected area.
  • For Grade 2 and 3 injuries, an aircast or short leg cast may be recommended to immobilize the ankle. You may need crutches.
  • This is followed by a period of rehabilitation exercises and functional rehabilitation in phase 2.
  • Finally, in phase 3, strengthening exercises, and a gradual return to normal sports activities.

If these interventions fail, surgical intervention may be required to repair the damage.

Contact Us

If you have sports injuries in Houston, TX, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston to schedule an appointment with our team at one of our convenient locations. You can schedule an appointment at our Chimney Rock office at (713) 666-0287, our Memorial City office at (713) 467-1299, our Katy office at (281) 579-0186, our Willowbrook office at (832) 912-7792, or our Woodlands office at (281) 849-9891.

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