Ligament injuries in the knee - such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) -- are dreaded by professional and amateur athletes alike. They can be painful and debilitating. They can even permanently change your lifestyle.
But there's good news. While an ACL injury or other ligament damage once ended the career of many an athlete, treatment has become much more successful.
So what's behind these feared injuries? Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. Two...
You heard a popping sound at the time you sprained your ankle.
You have moderate pain or severe swelling or bruising around your ankle.
You can't walk or put weight on your affected foot, or your ankle feels unstable.
You have redness, swelling, or pain in your leg or groin. These can be signs of a blood clot.
You have no improvement in your ankle after 1 week.
Your swelling and bruising last more than 2 weeks.
Also be sure to contact your doctor if you have a cast or splint around your ankle that feels too tight. If the cast hurts, pinches, or feels like it is digging into your skin, it may be too tight. If your foot feels numb or your skin feels cool, call your doctor immediately.
If your pain is mild and you are able to put some weight on your foot, you may follow the recommendations in the Treatment Overview and Home Treatment sections of this topic. Initial treatment and rehabilitation exercises ensure that your ankle heals properly. If treatment recommendations are not followed, your ankle may stay weak and unstable.
Who to see
For evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of an ankle sprain, you may see: