High Ankle Sprain
Not every high ankle sprain requires medical intervention to get better. Differentiating between the high ankle sprain that absolutely must receive medical attention from the sprain that can be treated at home with the usual routines of elevating the affected limb and keeping the ankle iced, usually does need a bit of savvy. It is interesting to note that a high ankle sprain can happen to the active athlete just like can put the weekend warrior out of commission. The mistaken belief that only athletes are affected by the possibility of high ankle sprain injuries has caused many hobbyists to forego a necessary trip to the doctor.
The least significant high ankle sprain is characterized by a slight swelling of the affected area and maybe some residual pain when weight is put on the ankle. The more serious high ankle sprain may cause a significant amount of pain, even at rest, and also long lasting difficulties with walking properly or attaining the pre-injury range of motion. In the worst case scenario, a severe injury that does not receive immediate medical attention does have the potential to result in a permanent weakening of the affected ankle and therefore normal walking may not be resumed.
Although there are a wide variety of high ankle sprain causes, the most commonly seen injury associated with this condition is an inward rolling of the foot. Initially there may be no pain involved, but within minutes this changes. As the patient continues to use the leg and the joint is being weighted down, the ankle becomes further unstable. Before long, the pain is so severe that use of the affected limb is no longer a viable option. Immediately immersing the leg with the high ankle sprain in cold water may halt the swelling that is forming.
Thereafter the use of ice packs are regularly scheduled intervals is indicated. Elastic bandages, such as an ankle sleeve or an ace bandage, are usually needed at this point to permit the reestablishment of a normal range of motion. Any kind of numbness must be reported to the treating physician right away. Only then is there a chance that the injury can be minimized and over time a normal use of the affected limb may be regained. In some cases physical therapy is a useful tool to artificially exercise a hurting limb and undo the damage caused by a high ankle sprain.