Degrees of Ankle Sprains and How to Deal with It

Degrees of Ankle Sprains and How to Deal with It
You will get your ankle sprained when you accidentally twist or rotate your foot inward, outward, or upward. Usually, you will hear a pop or snap when your ankle is sprained. The ligaments in the ankle get exceedingly stretched causing a tear or damage.

The inversion sprain is the most common injury in the ankle. You will get this sprain when your foot is pushed inward and the ankle outward. Athletes such as runners and jumpers usually get this injury. Women who wear high heels or those who participate in dancing and ballet are also the frequent victims of this ankle sprain.

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The signs of a sprained ankle include inflammation or swelling, redness, and pain in the affected area. There could also be tenderness in the foot and ankle, making it difficult to walk or stand. When the sprain is severe, the symptoms you get are quite similar with those associated with having broken bones.

When you experience a sprain in your ankle, it is recommended to see a physician immediately, especially if the pain is unbearable, and the swelling and tenderness increases. An orthopedic or health professional will usually determine the cause of the injury and the severity.

Sprained Ankle Examination

Your ankle will need to undergo examination for the doctor to identify the recommended treatment. The doctor will diagnose your ankle by doing a careful physical examination. They will start by palpating your ankle to search for the damaged ligament. Then, the doctor will assess the range-of-motion your injured foot can do by rotating or moving it.

However, the doctor may not always do this especially when the area has severe swelling or is too difficult to move. In most cases, a specialist can tell the degree of ankle sprain based on the physical exam. Otherwise, the doctor may require you to undergo imaging tests.

An X-ray will help the doctor see torn ligaments or if is caused by a broken bone since it usually has similar symptoms with a sprain—swelling, redness, and tenderness. In some cases, the specialist may require you to go through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) also to see if there are any damaged ligaments and how severe it is. Through MRI, the doctor could also check if the swelling is caused by cartilages, joints, or bones.

The orthopedic may also order a Stress X-ray where he or she will move the injured foot while on X-ray to see actual damaged ligaments or bones. It can also help them see if the injury is only caused by abnormal movement of the ligaments, cartilage, or joints.

In rare cases, the doctor may request for an ultrasound where he or she can directly observe your ankle by carefully assessing the foot by moving or rotating it to a limited extent to see the current condition of the affected ligaments. After these examinations, the doctor can identify the category of the ankle sprain and the type of treatment needed.

Sprained Ankle Degrees

The levels of sprains are classified as mild, moderate, and severe, and each has a corresponding treatment to be applied.

I. Mild (Grade I)

In this level, the foot or ankle can still be rotated or moved. Patients with a Grade I sprain can usually walk with slight pain only. In this level, the fibers in the ligaments have minor tearing or damage. The foot also experiences mild tenderness around the affected area.

II. Moderate (Grade II)

When the sprain is a moderate level, the foot is tender with average swelling and slightly limited mobility. There is an incomplete or partial tearing of the ligaments. With an injury like this, you may feel like the foot is stable, but you will feel pain when touching the affected area or even when putting pressure on the foot and ankle by trying to stand. In some cases, there is bruising in the affected part. Also, when the doctor twists or rotates the foot, it feels like there is a loose joint.

III. Severe (Grade III)

When the pain from the sprain is intense, it means the ligament is completely damaged. The swelling and the bruising are also severe. The affected area also becomes very sensitive when touched. There is instability, and walking or even placing a foot on the ground is painful and is almost impossible.

Dealing with a Sprained Ankle

Whatever the degree of your sprained ankle, you need to get it treated. For mild to moderately sprained ankles, home remedies may be enough to heal the injury. Some suggest resting, applying ice on the ankle, compressing, and elevating the foot (referred to as the RICE method). Others use equipment such as foot braces to set the ligaments back in place.

These techniques may be effective, but they are not as efficient as the HEM Ankle Rehabilitation Program. Home remedies take more than six weeks before your ankle is fully recovered, but the HEM Program will only take less than a month to get you back on track. No foot braces, no crutches or elastic bandages needed!

The HEM Program can even relieve the pain in just a week (or less). The program can heal your ankle whether the sprain is just new or already a few days or weeks old. Not only it does it aid in healing, but it also reinforces your ankles, making it stronger which means you will have a lower risk of being easily sprained. Yes, with HEM Ankle Rehabilitation Program, you can have a better ankle without having to visit physical rehab centers. You can get better in the comfort of your home.

However, if the sprain is severe, the doctor may order surgery to restore ruptured ligaments. We highly recommend consulting a health professional first before getting into any rehabilitation program. Last but not the least, and probably the best tip, is preventing yourself from getting ankle sprains by wearing appropriate footwear, watching your step, and by doing regular strengthening exercises. When participating in any sport, make sure to warm-up.

Our Top Pick For Sprained Ankle Treatment

Heal old or new ankle injuries fast!

Learn More

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