Anyone who stays fairly active could eventually sprain their ankle, but there may also be concerns that a more serious issue, tendonitis, might be at play. Figuring out the difference can benefit your recovery significantly, but you may need to go to an ankle sprain service to find out what's really going on. Fortunately, such clinics tend to function as tendonitis treatment services providers, too. Before you go, you may want to look at these indicators that might give you some insight into what's going on.
Initially Treating an Ankle Sprain
Most folks who maintain active lifestyles have dealt with minor ankle sprains over their lifetimes, and they tend to know the routine for coping with them. You should reduce your activity level, keep weight off the leg, ice the injured area for twenty minutes, and apply compression until the swelling stops. If you need pain relief, over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen sodium should help.
Should you experience any sharp pains, it's prudent to visit an ankle sprain service and get your leg checked out immediately. A doctor can schedule x-rays and verify that you're not dealing with something more serious, such as broken bone. If it appears to just be a severe ankle sprain, the practitioner can also prescribe you crutches or an air cast to keep weight off the foot.
A Lingering Ankle Sprain
The typical severe ankle sprain should take about two to three weeks to begin to show significant signs of healing. If the sprain appears to linger past this point and it has already been established that you don't have a broken bone, then it's time to start wondering whether the problem is tendonitis.
At this stage, a doctor will be interested in running more advanced tests. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be arranged to look at the soft tissues in the ankle, particularly the ligaments. An ultrasound system can also be used to take a closer look at how the ligaments and tendons are working when the foot is moved to different positions. Should the doctor have concerns about something worse, a computed tomography (CT) scan might be scheduled.
If there is a more serious problem, the most likely culprit is the peroneal tendon. You will be instructed to not put weight on your foot for at least six weeks. If the ankle still hasn't healed by then, the doctor may schedule surgery.