What are Foot and Ankle Sprains & Strains?

A sprain occurs when ligaments, bands of tissue connecting bones, are stretched too far. The most common type affects ankle ligaments when the ankle is turned, leading to swelling and discomfort.

Strains impact muscles and tendons rather than ligaments. Common in the hamstring or back, strains cause discomfort and limit motion.

Anatomy of Foot and Ankle

With 26 bones, 33 joints, and various soft tissues, our feet and ankles provide movement, stability, and balance. Ligaments, muscles, tendons, and cartilage work together for seamless function.

Causes of Foot and Ankle Sprains and Strains

The primary reasons for a sprain or strain are impact or tumbles affecting the ankle. Rapid lateral movements in activities like sports. Ill-fitting shoes leading to ankle sprains.

Diagnosis of Foot and Ankle Sprains and Strains

To diagnose a sprain, experts at South Bend Orthopedics rely on a combination of physical exams, joint movement checks, X-rays, and MRI to help diagnose injuries. Grading the severity (mild to severe) guides treatment decisions.

Sprains and strains can vary in intensity and damage, grading the severity (mild to severe) guides treatment decisions. Your type of sprain or strain will help your provider determine the best treatment for a full recovery.

Treatment of Foot and Ankle Sprains and Strains

  • Resting and avoiding the triggering activity.
  • Applying a cold compress and compression wrap.
  • Elevating the injured part.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers for pain and inflammation.
  • Additional support through braces, splints, or boots.
  • Physical therapy for comprehensive recovery.

If symptoms persist, worsen, or if there’s a history of repeated injuries, consult with our expert care team at South Bend Orthopedics for personalized and immediate intervention.

Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to guide you through understanding and managing sprains and strains for a full and effective recovery.