Anyone can sprain their ankle, but athletes face the highest risk. Sprained ankles account for 15% of all high school and college sports injuries, and without treatment, 70% develop ankle instability. As a sports medicine specialist, Christopher Suykerbuyk, DPM, at AZ Choice Foot and Ankle in Gilbert, Arizona, works closely with professional, college, and high school athletes. Dr. Suykerbuyk also has extensive experience reconstructing ligaments to restore optimal strength. Whether you’re an athlete or you sprained your ankle incidentally, expert care is available. Call the office, or book an appointment online today.
A sprain occurs when you overstretch or tear the ligaments supporting your ankle. Sprains most often affect the lateral ligament on the outside of the ankle.
Sprains typically occur when you twist your ankle. You can roll your ankle doing just about anything, but your risk is higher if you engage in sports.
Sprains can happen during any sudden movement that stretches the ankle ligaments, but cutting, pivoting, and making a quick change in direction dramatically increase your risk. These movements most often occur in soccer, football, tennis, volleyball, and basketball.
The ligaments in your ankle stabilize the joint. If you keep using a damaged ligament without giving it time to heal, the ligament never regains its original strength. Instead, it progressively weakens, making you vulnerable to recurrent sprains and causing a condition called chronic ankle instability.
Once you develop instability, you can easily sustain another sprain, even while doing nothing but standing still.
An ankle sprain typically causes immediate pain and some degree of inflammation, swelling, and bruising. You probably won’t be able to put your full weight on the ankle, and in severe cases, you’ll have a hard time walking.
Dr. Suykerbuyk develops a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain. Your treatment plan may include taping, a walking boot, brace, or even crutches to keep your weight off the ankle.
Dr. Suykerbuyk also develops a rehabilitation regimen, beginning with exercises to strengthen the ankle, restoring your range of motion, and rebuilding balance. As the swelling goes down and your ankle feels better, you can start more intensive exercises, including sports-specific exercises that prepare you for returning to play.
Surgery is usually the last option, but with an ankle sprain, there are exceptions. If you sustain a severe sprain, a complete ligament rupture, or you have chronic instability, surgery is often the best way to reconstruct the ligament and restore optimal strength.
Dr. Suykerbuyk has extensive experience repairing ligament injuries using minimally invasive ankle arthroscopy. As an ankle ligament specialist, he also offers today’s most advanced surgical techniques, including:
When used during ligament reconstruction, Artelon accelerates healing, improves elasticity, prevents tissue breakdown, and doubles the ligament’s strength.
If you have chronic ankle instability, this system allows Dr. Suykerbuyk to repair the ligaments using minimally invasive surgery instead of open surgery.
When you want the best recovery from an ankle sprain, call AZ Choice Foot and Ankle or schedule an appointment online today.