Spring has Sprung! In Texas, as with the rest of the US, spring tends to a major sports season for many amateur athletes and “weekend warriors” (you know who you are). For this very reason, we generally see a rise in ankle sprain injuries walking (or hobbling) into our office. That’s not to say we don’t see our fair share of ankle sprain injuries all year round; thankfully with relatively temperate climate (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SUMMER WHICH IS HORRIBLE).
As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer. Many of you may already be accustomed to resting and icing to reduce pain and swelling which is a great go-to self treatment if you think you may have just sprained your ankle. If you aren’t sure what to do at first, the acronym RICE may be helpful to remember. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation which are all great things to do when you first injure your lower extremity. Self treatment however can only extend so far. Whether it is your first ankle sprain, or your 10th, it is advisable to seek prompt medical attention whenever you injure your ankle. While you may naturally want to “test the waters” so to speak and try to put weight on an injured ankle, remember that if there is any possibility that you may have fractured a foot or ankle bone with the sprain (which definitely CAN occur), there is a chance you could be causing more injury to yourself. Here are some ankle sprain prevention tips from FootHealthFacts.org: 1. Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports. 2. Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball. 3. Wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle*. (We have certified medical ankle sprain braces available in the office, so we recommend you come in for us to evaluate if one of these devices could help you!)
4. Probably the MOST IMPORTANT prevention tip of all would be to NOT run through pain. REMEMBER: Pain is NEVER normal. While it is true that runners and athletes will occasionally develop various injuries throughout their lifetime, it is never advisable that you continue the same activities if you feel frequent/constant pain, or pain that is becoming worse. If you are unsure whether it would “make sense” to see a doctor about it, the answer would unequivocally be YES. Even if you don’t consider your pain “that bad”, you could be risking worse problems in the long run, and there is no risk in coming in and getting checked out!
Dr. Mascorro and Dr. Hurwitz at Fulshear Foot and Ankle are available every day- Monday through Friday 7:30am to 5pm to see you for an urgent appointment if you need to be seen the day or week of your injury. Hours may vary depending on the availability of the doctors. If an injury occurs over the weekend, you may want to present to an urgent care or emergency room first- IF: You have intolerable pain, even when you do not try to touch your foot to the ground Your toes or foot is becoming numb after the injury Your foot or ankle is stuck in a position that looks out of place (aka deformed) Your toes or foot is changing color (white,purple, blue, etc) If you are ever unsure if any of these symptoms apply to you, it is still probably the safest to seek immediate medical attention if you think something is wrong with your foot. Otherwise you may be able to call our office as soon as Monday morning (We open at 7:30 AM) to make an urgent appointment with us. “Well Dr. Hurwitz and Dr. Mascorro, what treatments can you offer me if I do come to the office if I decide to come in and be evaluated for my ankle injury?” Great question!🤣 We first will want to take some x-rays to be sure you didn’t injure any bones or any other chronic conditions of your foot and ankle that may have predisposed you to spraining it. Next, we will evaluate you clinically to decide the level of immobilization that would suit you best and even discuss options such as a possible physical therapy referral. There are also other medical treatments (such as orthotics) that we may consider once you have healed so that hopefully we will prevent you from needing to come back for the same injury again(we will miss you though!!) Many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.
FootHealthFacts.org is the consumer Web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Dr. Hurwitz and Dr. Mascorro are both members of ACFAS. Inquiries and appointments for both doctors can be made at (281-391-1212).
We hope you enjoyed this non COVID-10 related post!!! We are praying for all of your families to stay safe and healthy at this time. We must flatten the curve together.
P.S. IF you are going out for runs during this time, remember to maintain social distancing rules to the best of your ability!!!