Foot Sprain Treatment in Arlington, TX
In addition to bones, your foot is comprised of ligaments—strong, flexible tissue which binds your bones together. It is these various parts which facilitate your body's mobility. When your foot is subjected to harsh overuse, or when you land on it awkwardly, ligaments can stretch and tear, causing a foot sprain. Foot sprains can affect different parts of the foot, from the top of your foot to the ankle, and can limit your mobility. What's more, if a sprained foot is ignored and continually used while in disrepair, a debilitating fracture may occur which will call for more serious medical intervention.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Arlington that specializes in foot sprain rehabilitation, call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
Foot Sprain vs Fracture: What Causes Foot Sprains?
Foot sprains and fractures present similarly, causing pain in the affected foot. But what characterizes a foot sprain vs facture, and what causes foot sprains specifically? Foot and ankle sprains specifically refer to injuries in the soft tissue, while fractures refer to instances in which a genuine break occurs in the bone.
Most often, a foot or ankle sprain is the result of an injury, which may occur while playing sports or becoming subjected to spontaneous accidents, such as tripping or stumbling on uneven ground. Athletes, particularly runners, gymnasts and football and basketball players, are especially vulnerable to foot and ankle sprains due to the nature of these sports and the kind of activity it requires.
Sprained Foot Symptoms
Sprained foot symptoms include general pain, swelling and bruising of the affected foot or ankle, which may make walking or using the affected body part difficult. Symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. While, for instance, someone with a mild sprain in the ankle may simply favor use of the unaffected ankle slightly more, someone with a severe pain may find it difficult or impossible to walk, requiring more serious, immediate ankle sprain treatment. Foot and ankle sprains are graded on a scale of I to III based on their severity:
- Grade I: Minor sprains. You are able to stretch the ligament or very mild tear with little to no instability at the joint.
- Grade II: Moderate sprains. The tear is more serious, but is still an incomplete tear.
- Grade III: Severe sprains. The ligament is completely torn or ruptured from the bone. Grade III sprains may cause severe pain which can feel like the bone is broken, when in fact it is the torn or ruptured ligament that is causing the pain and which makes it seem impossible to put weight on the joint or use the affected limb.
Types of Foot Sprains
The foot is made of different parts, all of which are subject to injury. Different types of foot sprains include:
- Midfoot sprain: A midfoot sprain, also called lisfranc injuries, occurs as the result of the ligaments supporting the midfoot becoming torn, and can be particularly complex due to the sophisticated anatomy of the midfoot. Often mistaken for a simple sprain, midfoot sprains are complex and cannot simply be "walked off."
- Ankle sprain: A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments composing your ankle become stretched beyond their limits and tear. Ankle sprains can occur in all ages and the pain associated with them may range from mild to severe. Without proper ankle sprain treatment and rehabilitation, the ankle can weaken and be more prone to future injuries, as well as long-term problems including chronic ankle pain, arthritis and ongoing instability.
- First metatarsophalangeal joint sprain: Sprains affecting the first metatarsophalangeal joint are those affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. These injuries are sometimes called "turf toe," and are usually caused by hyperextension (extreme backwards bending) of the big toe. These kind of sprains commonly affect ballet dancers, who consistently rely on their toes to support their weight.
Treatment of Foot Sprains
If you experience foot pain of any kind, it is recommended to quickly see a healthcare provider who can assess the nature of your foot pain as well as recommend treatment before symptoms worsen and result in fractures and long-term instability. Your healthcare provider will likely begin by taking a medical history and examining your feet and ankles. Diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI, may be ordered to determine the extent of your injury. Treatment for foot sprains will depend upon the nature of the injury, its location and severity. Preliminary at-home treatment will likely include the RICE protocol (resting, icing, compressing and elevating the affected limb). More specialized treatment of foot sprains may vary by the kind of injury you have sustained:
- Treatment for midfoot sprains can include nonsurgical mediations including wearing a non-weight-bearing cast. Surgical treatments for midfoot sprains include an internal fixation to position the bones with plates or screws, or a fusion to essentially weld together the damaged bones.
- Treatment for sprained ankles may include physical therapy, such as early motion to prevent stiffness, strengthening exercises as well as endurance training. In severe cases, surgical options for sprained ankles include arthroscopy to remove loose fragments of bone and cartilage or a reconstruction to repair torn ligaments.
- Treatment for first metatarsophalangeal joint (turf toe) sprains include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce your symptoms if the sprain is mild. Additionally, physical therapy may be recommended. Surgical procedures are not usually necessary in instances of turf toe, but should the severity of the sprain be significant, surgical intervention may be recommended.
Foot sprains of any kind warrant medical evaluation to ensure proper treatment is undertaken and prolonged instability does not occur. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Arlington that specializes in the treatment of foot sprains, call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
The New You Medical & Infusion Clinic
Address100 Grapevine Hwy
Hurst, TX 76054
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm