Sprains Q & A
What is a sprain?
A sprain is the result of a damaged or torn ligament, which is the tissue that connects your bones to your joints. Trauma or excessive use of a joint, like your ankle, knee, or wrist, cause a sprain.
People get sprains from walking or exercising on uneven surfaces, landing on an ankle or outstretched arm strangely during a fall, and overextending themselves when playing sports.
What are the symptoms of a sprain?
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may experience:
You may also hear a popping sound at the moment of the injury, in which case you should get medical treatment right away.
How is a sprain diagnosed?
If you experience an injury, your doctor at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC performs a physical exam to check for swelling and tenderness in your joints or limbs.
Depending on the location and severity of your pain, your doctor may also recommend X-rays or an MRI to help diagnose your injury as a sprain.
How is a sprain treated?
If you suffer a sprain, even before visiting the practice, you can ice your injury using an ice pack or an ice bath for 15-20 minutes at a time, repeating every 2-3 hours.
After diagnosis, your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC doctor may bind your injury with an elastic bandage to compress the area and stop the swelling.
During your recovery period, elevate your injured area above the level of your heart, especially at night, to minimize swelling. Make sure to get plenty of rest as any physical activity can aggravate your sprain and make it worse.
If your pain is unmanageable, your doctor can prescribe medication to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Surgical treatment for sprains are rare, but if you're still having problems with your ankle after months of treatment, your doctor may use arthroscopy to see the inside of your joint and treat any issues that the procedure reveals.
Your doctor may also suggest reconstructive surgery to repair a damaged ligament with stitches or sutures. Often, replacing the damaged ligament with tissue grafted from other ligaments and tendons in your body is possible.
The recovery period for sprains lasts for a couple of days to months, depending on the severity of your injury. You'll notice a gradual improvement and shouldn't push yourself while healing.
For severe cases that need additional help during recovery, Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC provides physical therapy services.
For the expert treatment of sprains, call Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC or use the online scheduling tool to make your appointment today.