When an ankle suffers a sprain the tough ligament tissues surrounding the ankle have been over-stretched or possibly even torn. The ligaments are tight bands of tissue providing tremendous support for the ankle’s movable joints while also allowing for an amazing range of flexibility.
There are numerous causes of a sprained ankle with uneven ground or floor surface among the most common. If the foot hits the ground unevenly or twists with excessive force or speed, the body’s weight moves downward upon the ankle and forces an extension of the ligaments surrounding the joints. The ligaments that are affected in a sprain are usually either on the outside of the ankle joint, if the foot has inverted, or (less commonly) those on the inside of the joint if the foot has turned outward. The degree of injury is divided into three classifications called grades.
A Grade I sprain is the least severe in terms of injury to the stretched ligaments. While painful, the most common symptoms are swelling and tenderness of the affected area. Most individuals are still able to walk without assistance but jogging and running will be painful until the ligaments have healed.
With Grade II sprains the ligaments have undergone more severe stretching and even partial tearing of the tissues. There is a great deal of pain, swelling and even bruising from bleeding beneath the skin’s surface. Some walking with a Grade II ankle sprain is possible but painful beyond a few steps.
A Grade III sprained ankle is the most severe injury to ligaments. A complete tear of the tissues occurs and makes walking extremely difficult and painful. Bruising and swelling cover the affected region and there can be numbness in the toes.
According to Providence Orthopaedic Clinic in Singapore, a number of treatments administered in the initial 24 to 48 hours following the injury can help a mild to moderately sprained ankle heal. Elevate the sprain higher than the heart and apply ice for ten to fifteen minutes at a time as often as possible. Use of a compression wrap from toes to calf is acceptable but care must be taken to not wrap too tightly. Resting the ankle helps the ligaments heal.
A Grade III sprain can be difficult to distinguish from a fracture. If a Grade III sprain is suspected, Providence Orthopaedic Clinic recommends getting medical attention to insure that a fracture has not occurred. Also See 6 Most Common Ankle Pain Diagnosis