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Do I Really Need to See a Podiatrist for an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries, not just among athletes but also in the general population. They occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and, in severe cases, tear. While many people opt for self-care after such an injury, consulting with the sports medicine team at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine in Kirkland, Washington, can significantly influence your recovery journey. 

But do you really need to see a podiatrist for an ankle sprain? The short answer is it depends on the severity of the sprain and the presence of underlying conditions. Here are several reasons why visiting our office could be beneficial.

Receive an early and accurate diagnosis

One of the primary reasons to see a podiatrist after spraining your ankle is to get an accurate diagnosis. Not all ankle sprains are alike, and they can range from mild stretches to complete tears of the ligaments. 

The experienced team at Washington Foot & Ankle can determine the grade of your sprain by conducting a thorough examination, which may include imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs, to understand the severity of the sprain.  Ankle sprain treatment plans and recovery time depend on the severity of the sprain. 

Get a customized treatment plan

We specialize in treating foot and ankle conditions and offer customized treatment plans for your specific injury and recovery goals. For mild sprains, we might recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with specific exercises to strengthen the area and prevent future injuries. 

More severe sprains might require immobilization with a brace or boot, and in some cases, surgery might be necessary. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team can guide you through your treatment options and recommend the best course of action based on your situation.

Rehabilitation advice

Rehabilitation is a critical component of recovery from an ankle sprain. Without proper rehabilitation, the risk of re-injury increases, and the ankle can become chronically weak or unstable.

Our podiatry team provides expert advice on rehabilitation exercises that focus on restoring strength, flexibility, and balance. They can also monitor your progress and adjust the rehabilitation plan as needed to ensure a full recovery.

Prevent future injuries

Visiting a podiatrist isn’t just about recovering from your current injury but also preventing future injuries. We can analyze your foot and ankle mechanics, identify any predisposing factors to sprains, and suggest ways to address them. For example, we might recommend supportive footwear, custom orthotics, or exercises to improve balance and strength. 

When self-care is enough for ankle sprains

Not all ankle sprains require a visit to the podiatrist, but if your self-care efforts haven’t helped or you experience significant swelling, bruising, pain, or difficulty walking, it’s time to call or schedule an appointment online. Consulting a podiatrist after an ankle sprain could be the key to a faster, more robust recovery and, ultimately, a stronger, more resilient ankle.

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