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Bloomington (812) 333-4422
Bedford (812) 277-1000
Washington (812) 254-2911


Ankle Sprain Recovery after Icy Falls

The winter season is in full swing and this means it’s time for fun activities like sledding, skiing, and ice skating. Speaking of ice skating, Frank Southern Ice Arena now offers public skate daily and allows Bloomington residents to have fun as they circle the rink. Whether skating or skiing, wintertime activities are certainly a lot of fun, but they do come with the risk of injury, including sprained ankles. Should this happen, it’s important to know what to expect from ankle sprain recovery.

When you look at all the injuries that can possibly be sustained by humans, ankle sprains are actually quite common. Sure, these can be caused due to wintertime activities or athletic events, but they also happen just from moving around, especially with the icy conditions that winter brings. When you slip on ice, whether at the rink or in the parking lot, you could potentially sprain your ankle.

Ankle sprain recovery following an icy fall will begin with following the R.I.C.E. guidelines:

  • Rest your ankle by keeping your bodyweight off it and staying away from the activity that caused the injury until the ankle is fully healed.
  • Ice the affected ankle to minimize swelling, but without putting ice directly on the skin. Instead, use a towel to act as a barrier between the ice and skin.
  • Compress the ankle with the use of a bandage wrap.
  • Elevate the ankle by reclining and keeping it above heart level with the use of a couple pillows.

If this is not sufficient, you may have a Grade II sprain, which will require additional time for healing. Perhaps our office may decide to issue you a splint. With a Grade III sprain, surgery may be needed, although this is rare. We may have you wear a walking boot for two to three weeks to stabilize the affected area.

The best treatment is always to avoid the problem in the first place, so please be careful during the icy winter months. Walk slowly, wear shoes or boots that have good grip, and walk flat-footed to keep your center of gravity stable. If you live in the Bloomington, Bedford, Indianapolis, or Ellettsville areas and need expert treatment and care following an icy fall, call our office at (812) 333-4422 or schedule an appointment online with Kevin J. Powers, DPM, today!

Score With Strong Ankles: Four Ways to Prevent a Sprain

Being on a high profile team such as Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish brings high reward but can also bring high risks, especially with foot and ankle health. Junior Sheldon Day, defensive lineman, knows this well as he battled a high ankle sprain for most of 2013. He’s back in, strong, and ready to score while helping his teammates on the defensive line. Now, he will just have to be extra cautious and careful to protect against a secondary sprain. A sprain can happen in an instant. Whether or not you’re an athlete, you can keep your ankles strong and prevent ankle sprains with these four easy tips.

First, weak muscles around the ankle joint need to be strengthened so they can withstand the stresses put on the ankle. A really easy strengthening exercise that you can do while watching TV is wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot and pull tight so there is some resistance. Move your ankle up and down, in and out several times and then switch feet. Do this a few times a day.

Second, improve your balance so your body is more capable of controlling itself. Do this by balancing on one foot. Work up to a few minutes and then progress to standing with your eyes closed and on a pillow for extra challenge.

Third, be prepared for whatever activity you are going to do. This involves wearing appropriate footwear that fit your feet and building up your fitness level slowly if you are new to a sport. Playing within your current limitations will greatly help avoid injury.

Last, if you have already lived through a sprain, it may be helpful to use a brace or taping for extra protection and ankle stability. If your ankle feels weak, take a break and seek further treatment before another injury occurs that could be worse than the first.

If you are concerned about ankle instability, have a sprain that needs treatment, or sustained an injury that is not healing well, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact Dr. Kevin Powers at our office in Bloomington, IN, by calling (812) 333-4422.

Photo Credit: Samarttiw via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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