Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the South Jersey area. It’s also ankle sprain season for the foot and ankle surgeons at Cornerstone Foot & Ankle. Dr. Josh Miller, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Sewell, Glassboro, Cherry Hill, Marlton, and Mt. Holly, says ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries he treats this time of year.
“As people emerge from their winter hibernation and start to get active again, they can injure their ankles playing sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer,” he says.
Anyone who injures an ankle requires prompt medical treatment, whether it’s their first sprain or their fifth. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can reduce swelling and pain until the ankle can be evaluated and treated by a foot and ankle surgeon. A sprain may not always be a sprain; the ankle could be fractured.
Dr. Miller notes that many athletes develop chronic ankle instability from repeated ankle sprains, causing their ankle to frequently “give way.” In some cases, these players may require surgery. Proper rehabilitation of an ankle sprain reduces the likelihood of developing chronic ankle instability.
Dr. Miller shares three spring ankle sprain prevention tips.
- Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.
- Wear the right shoes for the sport. For example, don’t wear running shoes for sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, such as tennis and basketball.
- Wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.