Ankle sprains are among the most common of injuries, with an estimated 25,000 people per day in the U.S. experiencing anything from mild to severe sprains. It also is frequently untreated, which can lead to complications and longer healing periods if the sprain is more serious than one thinks. It is wise to see a doctor even for what you believe is a mild sprain.
Common Ankle Sprains
This injury usually occurs when a person steps awkwardly due to a hole, uneven pavement or missing a step. Some refer to the misstep as “rolling an ankle.” The injury impacts the ligament that runs along the outside of the ankle, and it is one of the ankle’s primary stabilizers. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising, along with possible tenderness in the area of the ligament just below the ankle joint.
High Ankle Sprains
This injury typically happens as a result of a sudden twisting motion, and it affects ligaments above the ankle joint. Because of their location, these ligaments are subjected to a greater amount of weight and force during normal walking, making it more difficult to return to normal activity after experiencing an injury. While there is typically minimal swelling or bruising related to this injury, simple walking can be very painful, and those who have experienced this injury report that pain radiates up their leg. Athletes are more susceptible to high ankle sprains, and frequently face longer recovery times because of the location and performance of these ligaments.