In your ankle, there are numerous ligaments which serve to help keep the ankle/foot bones in place and provide stability to the joint. When one or more of these ligaments is stretched excessively, it can cause them to tear – thus leading to a sprained ankle. Ranging from mild to severe, depending on the amount of damage done to the ligaments, ankle sprains are among the most common orthopedic injuries. This article will explore the steps used by an orthopedic specialist to make a sprained ankle diagnosis.
How Your Orthopedic Specialist Makes a Sprained Ankle Diagnosis
In many cases, ankle sprains can be resolved over the course of a few weeks using at-home treatment methods such as resting and applying ice. However, more severe sprains may require professional treatment in order to ensure proper healing and avoid long-term issues. Failure to seek prompt treatment for a more severe sprain may lead to lasting ankle instability, bone damage, chronic pain or even arthritis later on. Further, the ankle may be weakened, thus making it more susceptible to reinjury.
If your ankle becomes extremely swollen, painful and unable to bear weight, it is advisable to see an orthopedic specialist right away. These symptoms may indicate a more severe sprain or an ankle fracture. To diagnose your injury and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment, your orthopedic doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of your ankle and foot. This exam will likely include:
- Pressing on various parts of the ankle to determine which ligaments are involved in the injury
- Moving the ankle in different directions to evaluate range of motion
To make a definitive sprained ankle diagnosis and determine the extent of ligament damage, your orthopedic physician may also order imaging tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI scan. These imaging technologies will help your doctor pinpoint the type, location and severity of the foot/ankle injury you have sustained.
Rely On Dr. Soffer for World-Class Ankle Care in Berks County, PA
If you are experiencing sprained ankle symptoms such as swelling, bruising, tenderness and/or ankle instability, Dr. Stephen Soffer can help you find the right treatment method to resolve your injury. Proud to provide expert care to patients of all ages, Dr. Soffer is an experienced orthopedic surgeon & sports medicine physician. He completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine with world renowned Sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, and he offers a full range of conservative treatments for orthopedic injuries, as well as cutting-edge surgical options.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Soffer, please call our office at 610-375-4949. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.