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


 

Treating Chronic Pain After an Ankle Sprain

Even if you never set foot on a soccer field, tennis court, or baseball diamond, the odds are pretty good you will suffer a sprained ankle at least once in your life. Sure, these injuries happen rather easily when making a sudden move in an intense game, but sometimes all it takes is misjudging a curb or stair, or stepping in an indentation in the lawn.

Treating Chronic Pain After an Ankle Sprain When patients come see us for sports injury treatment—including treatment for chronic pain after an ankle sprain—there are usually several things they will want to know, including “how long until it’s better?” The answer obviously depends on several factors, specially the nature of the injury and its severity.

Ankle sprains are so commonplace that they might not seem like a big deal, but the fact of the matter is that returning to activity before complete ankle sprain recovery can potentially lead to increased and/or more severe issues in the future. We can certainly provide the treatment you need for ankle instability, it’s better if you can avoid it from happening in the first place. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the importance of recovering completely from a sprained ankle before you resume physical activities.

Ankle sprains are typically graded on three levels of severity:

  • Grade 1: This is the least severe, with only some slight stretching and tiny ligament tears. There will likely be some swelling and tenderness around the affected ankle. Recovery may only take around 2 weeks.
  • Grade 2: This grade indicates a moderate sprain. Pain and swelling is greater and there could be some looseness in the joint. In this case, there is a partial tear in the ligament and recovery time will be longer, somewhere between 2 to 6 weeks.
  • Grade 3: At this stage, the ligament has completely torn. This results in instability, excessive swelling around the ankle, and additional pain. Depending on the situation, we may need to consider a surgical procedure. Recovery can take up to 12 weeks.

Regardless as to how long recovery takes; it is important to emphasize that normal activities should not be resumed until the problem has been resolved. Complete ankle sprain recovery, for example, is essential before resuming a running program or playing tennis again. Going back to exercises and sports too soon can increase the risk for long-term issues.

The specific treatment plan we create for you in the event you develop chronic pain following an ankle sprain will be customized based on your unique situation, including severity of injury and level of physical activity. That said, there are some common components that may work particularly well, including:

  • Bracing – An ankle brace might be beneficial for a loose ankle by providing the support the joint is currently lacking. It can also prevent further damage to the joint by restricting movement and preventing additional ankle sprains.
  • Medication – NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), including ibuprofen, can be used to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapy – Strengthening and retraining the muscles in the area through the use of specific exercises can help improve balance and restore range of motion.

Whereas the hope is to treat the condition effectively through the use of conservative methods, this isn’t always possible. Fortunately, there are surgical procedures we might use, particularly ones that reconstruct or repair damaged ligament(s).

To accurately diagnosis the severity of the injury and find out what to expect from your ankle sprain recovery, come see us here at our Bloomington, IN office. We will evaluate your injured ankle and provide a professional assessment, along with an effective treatment plan to get you back to activity in a safe manner! Call us at (812) 333-4422 to schedule your appointment or take advantage of our online form to have any questions answered or request additional information.

Recognizing the 3 Stages of Charcot Foot

The ancient Chinese proverb “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is still cited frequently in our modern world for a simple reason – it’s completely true. There are few, if any, instances wherein something just happens instantaneously, without at least a certain amount of steps building up to that point.

Whereas the wise saying is often used in terms of achieving goals, it also has relevance in the field of medicine. Many health-related issues start as a smaller problem before traversing that “journey of a thousand miles.” Knowing how to recognize the stages of issues like Charcot foot, however, will help you find the care you need at the earliest, most treatable opportunities to stop the condition’s progression.

Keeping that in mind, let’s look at this particular medical condition. We want you to be able to take the appropriate measures—like contacting our medSymptoms of Charcot Footical team—at the early stages so you can reduce your risk of developing serious problems.

Charcot foot is a medical condition that may cause severe deformity and disability, especially when left untreated. In severe cases, amputation can be a necessary treatment option, but there is hope if you are vigilant!

Peripheral neuropathy is commonly experienced by diabetic individuals, and this contributes to the problem because you may be unable to recognize when damage has been sustained to weakened foot bones. Further, diabetes compromises your body’s ability to heal injured tissue in a normal, timely manner.

What often happens is an affected individual will fracture foot bones, even during normal activities, but be unaware of it. With healthy nerves, the individual would receive treatment and keep weight off of the foot. Since the damage goes unrecognized, daily activities will continue to be performed. In turn, this leads to additional damage – a cycle which continues until the foot is extremely misshapen and deformed.

Since catching Charcot foot early is so important, you should remain aware for any abnormal redness, swelling, and increased warmth of a foot and ankle (especially when compared to the other one). The actual stages of this syndrome are as follows:

  • Stage 1 (Acute) – This initial stage extends from development to fragmentation. Signs to know include the aforementioned redness, swelling, and warmth. Early radiographs will show swelling in your soft tissues. Joint dislocation and bony fragmentation may be noted up to several weeks after the condition’s onset.
  • Stage 2 (Subacute) – In the second stage, the damaged bones being to coalesce (come together). You will notice decreases in the previously-observed redness, swelling and warmth. Radiographs in this stage will usually indicate early signs of bony healing.
  • Stage 3 (Chronic) – The final stage of Charcot foot is one of reconstruction and consolidation. At this time, there is no longer any redness, swelling, or warmth. This can be attributed to the fact the bones have “healed.” Whereas the bones may have hardened, they are typically deformed from their normal appearance.

Even more important than knowing these stages, of course, is the action you take once you become aware of a problem. If you do notice Charcot foot symptoms—in any stage—contact our Bloomington office as soon as possible for the professional diagnosis and treatment you need. We will do everything possible to save your foot!

Remember, if you are living with diabetes, you should have a diabetic foot care plan in place. Don’t have one? Then contact us today and we will help you create a plan to protect your feet and reduce your risk of severe medical issues. Call us at (812) 333-4422 and our staff will answer any questions and set you up with an appointment that works for you.

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