How Do I Know If I Sprained My Ankle?

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A sprained or twisted ankle is caused when the ligaments that hold the ankle together are stretched beyond their means. Although this is a common injury that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that more than 25,000 cases happen a day, it can be very debilitating and unfortunate. If you have any one of these symptoms, you most likely have an ankle sprain.

Unable to Put Pressure on it

If you are unable to be put weight on your foot, then you could have possibly sprained it. The pain will depend on the severity of the sprain. If you are able to walk a little with a limp, then you have a light sprain. If you cannot walk at all, then you have a severe sprain. To reduce symptoms, ice and keep the foot elevated for as much as possible. If the pain continues after a few days and does not subside, then you most likely have a sprain that needs professional medical treatment.

Color and Appearance

Look at the area where your ankle is primarily affected. Is the color a dark blue or is the complexion of the skin normal? The darker blue the color, the more the severe the sprain. Look at the size of your foot. If the ankle is sprained, it will swell right after the injury and especially during icing it. It is not hard at all to tell if your ankle is swollen as it will look much puffier than your other ankle. If your ankle does not reduce in swelling within a day, then it is sprained.

How Did it Happen?

How did you cause the injury? The act of the injury will give you the most help on whether or not you actually sprained it. Did you come down on an uneven surface? Although sprained ankles usually occur during physical activity, it is not uncommon for them to happen by simply walking down the street. If your ankle came down in any sort of uneven way -- whether by stepping on someone’s foot or in a hole -- you most likely have suffered an ankle sprain.

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