How to Keep a Sprained Ankle From Becoming Chronic Instability

A sprained ankle is a very common injury. In many cases, you can recover on your own with simple home remedies. These injuries often heal completely without further complications, especially if you properly care for them.

However, sometimes sprained ankles can lead to chronic instability. An unstable ankle can have other unintended effects, such as back pain and difficulty walking. Dr. Gentile from the Portland  Foot and Ankle Institute offers these tips for how to care for a sprained ankle, providing next-level treatment plans for your ankle injury.

Self-care essentials

Spraining your ankle often happens very quickly and by accident. Whether you slipped on a wet floor or landed on it wrong while playing a pick-up game of basketball, you’ll know immediately that you’re injured. The most commonly recommended suggestions for treating a sprained ankle follow what’s called the RICE protocol.

RICE is an acronym that stands for the following:

You can also use the recommended doses of over-the-counter pain relievers.

When to call Dr. Gentile

A sprained ankle may heal on its own if you use self-care methods and are careful not to repeatedly injure the ankle. Staying off your ankle as much as possible can prevent it from getting worse. 

However, it’s important to call Dr. Gentile if it’s been a couple of days since the injury and it’s not getting better. We will need to do further tests, including a thorough examination and X-rays.

If you have any signs such as extreme pain or bones protruding through your skin, this is an emergency and you should immediately go to the hospital. 

Types of treatment for a sprained ankle

In an examination, Dr. Gentile looks at the structure of your foot and ankle to assess the extent of the damage. He may recommend some of the following treatments:

Why you shouldn’t ignore a sprained ankle

Friends or family may tell you that a sprained ankle will heal on its own, but this is often very bad advice. Continuing to walk on an improperly healed ankle can lead to chronic instability. This can negatively affect your balance, putting you at risk of falls and further injuries. This can also prolong the amount of pain you feel.

If your ankle doesn’t heal with the use of any of the above treatments, Dr. Gentile may recommend surgery as well. It’s important to get timely and appropriate treatment after a sprained ankle. Call our office today at 503-336-0169 or request an appointment online

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