Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors in the Olympia Washington area. It’s also ankle sprain season for one area foot and ankle surgeon.

Kelley Gillroy DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon at Cascade Foot and Ankle Clinic says ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries she 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,” she 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.

Gillroy 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.

Gillroy 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). Kelley Gillroy is a member of the ACFAS and board Certified in foot surgery and rear foot reconstruction and ankle surgery.  She earned her podiatric medical degree from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and has been practicing for 12 years. Call for an appointment (360)438-9092