How to Treat an Ankle Sprain with Dallas Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dallas, TX — Dr. Brian Straus is an orthopaedic surgeon in Dallas with the All-Star Orthopaedic practice. As the ankle expert at the practice, he recently discussed the diagnosis and treatment process for an ankle sprain, including how to know when the help of an orthopaedic surgeon is needed.
Dr. Straus sees a number of patients with sprained ankles at the Dallas orthopaedic surgery practice, and says the first thing he must do is determine if it is actually a sprain, and how severe the injury is: “An ankle sprain is an incident where the ankle suddenly twists or turns, causing immediate pain. Some sprains are mild and the pain resolves quickly. Others are more severe and will result in prolonged pain, limping, and swelling.” He adds that there are three types, or “grades” of sprains, ranging from a simple “over-stretching” with Grade 1, to a complete tear or rupture of the ligament with a Grade 3 injury.
When patients are trying to determine whether they need to see an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Straus says to focus on the appearance and mobility of the ankle: “Any sprain associated with noticeable swelling, bruising, or difficulty putting weight on the leg should be evaluated by a physician. The injury can then be graded and information can be supplied in regards to estimated time for recovery.” He adds the idea of “walking-off” an injury is a thing of the past, since identifying the degree of the injury and the structure of the ankle that has been compromised is extremely important to the healing process and treatment administered.
While ankle sprain treatment at All-Star Orthopaedics is custom-tailored to the patient and injury, Dr. Straus says basic treatment is divided into specific phases:
Phase 1 is aimed at reducing swelling and protecting the injured ligaments. Ice, compression, and elevation are very important initial measures. The amount of protection (e.g. a brace, walking boot, or cast) is chosen based on which treatment will permit weight-bearing as soon as possible.
Phase 2 is dedicated to regaining range of motion and restoring strength, and begins only after swelling is down and the patient can walk without pain.
Phase 3 involves regaining position sense of the ankle to ensure the patient avoids instability issues.
Phase 4 is sport-specific and depends on the individual needs of each patient.
Despite the complex approach to defining the treatment plan, Dr. Straus says ankle sprains should not hamper patients long-term if they are properly cared for. By involving an orthopaedic surgeon from the onset of the injury, he adds that injuries to other related areas such as tendons, cartilage, or nerves, can be avoided: “While it is true that some sprains can be troublesome, the vast majority of these patients do very well. Most individuals recover from the acute injury and have no long-term problems or limitations.
About Brian E. Straus, MD
Dr. Brian Straus is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon dedicated to the continued pursuit of the latest and most effective treatments available. In addition to his medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, he completed a Foot and Ankle/Sports Fellowship at the Foundation for Orthopaedic, Athletic, and Reconstructive Research. Dr. Straus is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Texas Orthopaedic Association, and the Dallas County Medical Society.
All-Star Orthopaedics has three locations: 400 W. LBJ Fwy. Ste. 300, Irving, TX 75063, available at (972) 556-2885; 910 E. Southlake Blvd., Ste. 155, Southlake, TX 76092, available at (817) 421-5000; and 3400 Prairie Road, Ste. 102, Flower Mound, TX 75022, available at (972) 556-2885. Dr. Straus and the entire All-Star team can also be contacted at www.allstarortho.com or the Dallas Orthopaedic Surgery Facebook page.