Sprained Ankle Specialist

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Propel Foot and Ankle

Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH

Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Oakland, CA

Sprained ankles are among the most common injuries that affect people of all ages. Skilled podiatrist Ajitha Nair, DPM, MPH, treats ankle sprains for adults and children at her Bay Area practice, Propel Foot and Ankle in Oakland, California. If you or a loved one has suffered a sprained ankle, call or book an appointment online today.

Sprained Ankle Q & A

What is a sprained ankle?

Strong bands of tissue called ligaments support and stabilize your foot and ankle. When one or more of these ligaments stretch beyond their means or becomes torn, you have an ankle sprain.

Ankle sprains range from mild to severe depending on the amount of damage to the ligament. Grades of ankle sprains include:

  • Grade 1, or a mild sprain with slight stretching and microscopic tears
  • Grade 2, or moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligament
  • Grade 3, or a severe sprain with a complete ligament tear

All grades of ankle sprains require medical attention. Without proper treatment, a sprained ankle may heal improperly and lead to problems like chronic ankle instability.

What causes an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains may result from twisting or rolling your ankle unexpectedly. This can occur during various situations, including:

  • Walking or running on uneven surfaces
  • Playing sports that require abrupt changes in direction, like soccer or basketball
  • Falling down or having your foot stepped on during physical activities

People of all ages and activity levels get ankle sprains, but you may be at higher risk if you play sports.

How do I know if I sprained my ankle?

Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of your injury, but may include:

  • Ankle pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Ankle instability

Symptoms of an ankle sprain resemble those of other common sports injuries, like fractures. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Nair so you can receive the proper treatment.  

How are sprained ankles diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Nair carefully examines your foot, ankle, and lower leg and asks you to describe how the injury occurred. She evaluates your range of motion and checks for points of tenderness. She may also take an imaging test, like an X-ray or musculoskeletal ultrasound, to rule out a bone fracture and assess the damage to your ligaments.

Then, she develops an individualized treatment plan that may include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the RICE method)
  • Assistive devices like crutches
  • Immobilization in a boot or brace
  • Physical therapy

If your ankle pain and symptoms persist despite treatment, Dr. Nair may recommend surgery.

For the highest quality care of ankle sprains, call Propel Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.