Spring is ankle sprain season in Orange County

Ankle SprainSpring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the Orange County area. It's also ankle sprain season for one area foot and ankle surgeon.

Jonathan Bennett, DPM, at Orange County Foot & Ankle Group, 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.

Bennett 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.

Bennett shares three spring ankle sprain prevention tips from FootHealthFacts.org:

  1. Perform warm-up stretches and exercises before playing sports.

  2. 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.

  3. Wear an ankle brace if you're recovering from an injury or have repeatedly sprained your ankle.

FootHealthFacts.org is the consumer Web site of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Bennett is a member of the ACFAS and board certified in foot surgery and earned his podiatric medical degree University of Chicago's School of Podiatric Medicine.

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