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Ankle Sprain

Birch Tree Foot and Ankle -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Birch Tree Foot and Ankle

Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Traverse City, MI

Ankle sprains can feel uncomfortable or debilitating in many cases. At Birch Tree Foot and Ankle, with offices in Traverse City or Manistee, Michigan, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons Jeffrey Weber, DPM, and Randy Hartman, DPM, can diagnose and treat ankle sprains to get you back on your feet quickly. Call the nearest office to book an appointment or schedule one online today for pain relief.

What are ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains are common injuries that affect your ankle joint, which is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When you sprain your ankle, ligaments that support the joint are stretched beyond their usual range of motion. This can cause damage to the ankle joint and sometimes debilitating pain.

What are the symptoms of ankle sprains?

Depending on the severity of an ankle sprain, common symptoms you may experience include: 

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Ankle instability 
  • Tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Popping sounds during the injury


Ankle sprains might be mild, moderate, or severe. Complications that can occur with untreated ankle sprains include ankle joint instability, ongoing discomfort, and arthritis of the ankle joint.


Ankle sprains sometimes heal on their own over time, but if they don’t, see the Birch Tree Foot and Ankle team for an evaluation. 


What are the risk factors for ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains can happen to anyone, but some factors increase your risk of experiencing one. Examples include:

  • Previous ankle injuries
  • Walking or running on uneven surfaces
  • Playing sports
  • Poor strength
  • Poor flexibility
  • Improper footwear
  • Falling down
  • Collisions during sports
  • Jumping, cutting, or pivoting
  • Older age

Avoiding uncomfortable shoes, including high-heeled shoes, and strengthening your ankle joint with stretching and exercise can reduce your risk of a sprained ankle.

How does my doctor diagnose ankle sprains?

To find out if you have an ankle sprain and develop an effective treatment plan, your podiatrist discusses your medical history, accident history, and symptoms. They examine your ankle and look for signs of swelling, redness, bruising, and stiffness. 


Birch Tree Foot and Ankle specialists may order X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, or other imaging procedures to make a final diagnosis. 

What are common treatments for ankle sprains?

Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, your podiatrist may suggest one of the following treatments:

RICE therapy

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy is a good at-home treatment for healing a sprained ankle and reducing pain and inflammation.


Various injections can enhance your body’s natural ability to heal and generate new cells while reducing inflammation and discomfort.

Physical therapy

Strength and flexibility exercises speed up healing after an ankle sprain, reduce discomfort, and lower your risk of reinjury. 

Shockwave therapy

Shockwave therapy uses noninvasive, painless shockwaves to diminish ankle pain and enhance healing.

Assistive devices

Crutches, braces, walking boots, bandages, casts, or sports tape can stabilize a sprained ankle to reduce pain and maximize mobility.


If you have a severe ankle sprain, your podiatrist may recommend you undergo surgery to restore ankle joint function, structure, and range of motion. 


If you experience a crippling ankle sprain or ongoing discomfort, schedule an appointment with Birch Tree Foot and Ankle by phone or book online today.