When it comes to foot injuries, you’re going to see a lot of them among athletes. Specifically, ankle sprains. It doesn’t matter if it’s football, rugby, soccer, field hockey, or volleyball. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about professional athletic teams or high school clubs.

In fact, sprained ankles make up almost 23% of all high school sports injuries – so says the Journal of Athletic Training. On the professional side, the Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac missed a bunch of games in his rookie season last year because of lingering problems with his ankle. Earlier this month, he was off the court again with a mild ankle sprain.

And it’s this chronic ankle problem that really concerns podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center.

How ankle problems become chronic

A chronic medical issue is one that comes back over and over, like Isaac’s ankle issues. Patients often make some dire mistakes in dealing with an ankle sprain that cause chronic ankle instability and a huge risk of re-injury. According to Dr. Wilhelm, these mistakes include

  • playing through the pain
  • waiting too long to get treatment
  • not seeking professional treatment at all
  • giving up on physical therapy
  • going back out on the field too soon.

Fix it the first time

The severity of an ankle sprain can be hard to diagnose. Ligaments may be mildly stretched or completely torn in two. The kind of treatment you receive makes a big difference in how well your ankle heals. Ankles that don’t heal properly from a sprain can cause problems well into the future. That’s especially bad news for 25% of injured young athletes who have many active years ahead of them.

The bottom line: get proper, professional treatment for any ankle sprain. Make an appointment as soon as possible with our board-certified foot and ankle specialist. Call us at our office in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.

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