A sprain happens when the ligaments, the stretchy bands of tissue that connect the bones, are over-stretched or otherwise injured. This is different from an injury of the tendons (which attach muscle to bone) or a strain of the muscle itself. The anatomy of the ankle joint is precarious. The joint is notoriously unstable for one that carries our body around every day. When your ankle ends up off balance or twisted, a sprain is a natural consequence.
Ankle sprain symptoms can include:
How do I know if it’s a break or a sprain?
Sometimes people think their ankle is only sprained when it is in actuality broken. It may be difficult for the injured person to tell the difference. There are a few ways you can try to determine whether your injury is a sprain or a broken bone.
Where is the pain located? An ankle that hurts the soft, fleshy part of the ankle is more likely to be sprained. Pain that occurs when you touch directly over the ankle bone indicates a break.
Was there a noise when the injury happened? Fractures are much more likely to make a cracking sound.
While there are ways you can try to determine whether your ankle is sprained or broken, the only way to know for sure is to come in to see a professional for an evaluation. Your doctor will know whether x-rays or other scans would be appropriate as well.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has experienced an ankle sprain, call 773-375-7106 or 708-422-4300 today to schedule an examination as soon as possible.