Annaliese was enjoying a girls’ weekend in Austin when she stepped in a hole and hurt her ankle. She was with friends and didn’t want to spoil the weekend for anyone and tried to tough it out and ignore the pain. Her friends were concerned about the swollen ankle and insisted that they seek treatment.
Annaliese searched for orthopedic care and discovered DOC in south Austin. She was greeted at the front door and provided with an ice pack for the ankle. She met with the PA, Jim Jelen, who ordered X-rays to determine that there was no fracture and diagnosed an ankle sprain. According to Annaliese, “The DOC PA was wonderful and provided thorough, comprehensive care. He even took the time to draw on the paper on the treatment table to help me visualize and understand my ankle injury. I left wearing a boot. He gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling.”
An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Ligaments are strong, fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones. The ligaments in the ankle help to keep the bones in proper position and stabilize the joint.
If the ankle is swollen, painful and cannot tolerate any weight, it is best to see an orthopedist at DOC as soon as possible. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a severe sprain can weaken the ankle, making it susceptible to additional injuries. Repeated ankle sprains may lead to long-term problems, including chronic ankle pain, arthritis and instability.
During the early phase of healing, it is important to support the ankle and protect it from sudden movements. Annaliese is wearing a removable boot, but weight bearing, which protects the ankle, but promotes healing at the same time. Her ankle is still slightly swollen, but the injury is not inhibiting her daily activities, except for exercise.
The next step in healing is rehabilitation exercises to prevent stiffness, increase ankle strength and prevent chronic ankle problems. Once Annaliese is pain-free, other exercises may be added.
When Annaliese and her friend left DOC in Austin, they “walked away smiling.” As Annaliese’s ankle heals and regains strength, hopefully she will be walking without pain or swelling, back home in Dallas, and still smiling.