Sprained ankles are one of the most common types of leg injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, sprained ankle injuries occur in nearly 25,000 Americans every day. While most sprained ankles heal without complications, some people experience lingering pain in their ankles and legs. Complications and lingering pain from a sprained ankle may require a visit to an orthopedic surgeon or specialist in the treatment of leg pain in Pompano Beach.
Complications from a sprained ankle may include:
- Instability: Instability is a common sign of a complication from a sprained ankle. Instability of the ankle often develops as a result of not giving the joint enough time to heal after the sprain. The ankle may feel weak or give way, leading to repeated strains and persistent pain in the leg and ankle. Weakness and instability of the ankle are treated with rest, physical therapy, and muscle strengthening exercises to stabilize the joint.
- Fractures: When lingering pain in both sides of a sprained ankle is accompanied by persistent swelling, there may be a fracture of the fibula. An inability to bear weight on the ankle, bruising, or an unusual grinding sensation in the ankle while walking could indicate a fracture. In addition to a fracture in the fibula, the bones of the ankle joint may dislocate, further compounding and extending the period of the pain.
- Arthritis: If lingering pain from a sprained ankle persists for months, this could indicate arthritis in the ankle joint. Arthritis that develops after an injury to the joint is referred to as post-traumatic arthritis. This complication can develop even if the sprain was properly treated and otherwise fully healed. Pain from arthritis may cause symptoms for years after the initial injury.