From walking down the steps to playing basketball, your ankle joint experiences a great deal of stress over time. While capable of moving and handling pressure, the ankle can be injured if moved too quickly and abnormally. Known as a sprain, the sudden twisting and moving of the ankle joint can heal properly on its own in some cases. However, a more severe sprain will require more involved injury treatment services. This guide will help you understand and treat a grade 3 ankle sprain.
Understanding Grade 3 Sprains
A minor sprain will cause swelling and pain in the ankle joint. This pain and swelling may prevent you from placing any pressure on the ankle. Unfortunately, a more severe sprain is a bit harder to diagnose, since the external signs are similar to a minor sprain.
If your sprain has caused severe swelling and tenderness around the ankle, you may have a tear in the ligaments. This tear indicates you have a more severe sprain, which is known as a grade 3 ankle sprain.
Your doctor will conduct a few tests to determine the extent of your sprain. A physical manipulation of the joint is first. If there is significant instability when your doctor pulls and pushes on the ankle and you are experiencing enormous pain, you most likely have a tear in the ankle ligaments.
An x-ray or MRI may be ordered to confirm this more severe sprain.
Treating a Grade 3 Ankle Sprain
Treating your sprain will depend on the severity of your injury. Therefore, a more severe sprain will require a more involved treatment.
For minor sprains, such as grade 1 and grade 2 sprains, R.I.C.E is recommended. This involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce swelling and heal the sprain, which is basically a strained ligament.
If the ligament has torn, which occurs with a grade 3 sprain, repairing the tear will be necessary. Many doctors recommend a surgical repair of the torn ligament. However, the tear may be able to heal on its own if the ankle is braced properly.
It is important to note that surgery is invasive, meaning there are risks. In addition, some doctors believe surgery can lead to the development of arthritis in the future. Bracing the ankle to provide support while compressing the joint and connecting ligaments can be just as beneficial for healing your grade 3 sprain.
An ankle sprain may not be a life-threatening condition, but it does require medical attention. This guide will help you determine if you have a grade 3 sprain and what treatment options are available to you.