Matt Wettstein, DPM
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Experienced podiatrist specializing in all foot care including wound care and sports medicine in Twin Falls.

With the exception of shady individuals wishing to commit insurance fraud, nobody ever plans on injuring their ankle. And if and when it does happen, one is rarely in a great position for self-diagnosis.

You might be out on a run, charging down the court, or simply going from point A to point B during your day. All it takes is one wrong hit, one small obstacle in your way, or one small misstep to bring on a flash of pain. And right after that, the big question usually pops into mind:

What did I just do to my ankle?!

Any sort of injury to an ankle can be frightening, because it’s a swift and humbling reminder of just how much we these joints to get around. The fear of “just how bad” it is can be very real, and it is natural to think in two terms: sprains and breaks.

Knowing the difference between an ankle sprain and a broken ankle can be very useful—and we will be getting into that shortly—but it is even more important to have the right general mindset toward ankle injuries as a whole.

Person with an ankle injury | Twin Falls Experienced Podiatrist

Both Ankle Sprains and Ankle Breaks Need Attention

Before we even get into the differences between the ways broken and sprained ankles present themselves, we need to talk about the way we tend to put these injuries in a hierarchy of severity.

Yes, it is true that many ankle sprains are minor and can be treated well enough at home. It is also true that most ankle fractures are going to require professional intervention of some kind. However, this is no excuse to treat all ankle sprains as nothing to be too concerned about.

Any sprain that does not heal properly can have lasting negative effects on that joint, much like any broken ankle that does not fully heal. An ankle sprain that weakens the joint can lead to instability and a higher risk of future ankle injuries. A vicious cycle can quickly develop that leads to chronic pain and problems.

What does this mean for you, then? It means you should never hesitate to contact us anytime you injure your ankle, no matter how minor you think it may be! While it’s possible that we’ll only recommend a few simple self-care instructions, ensuring you get the right level of care you require regardless of injury severity is critically important.

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