A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the fibrous band of tissue that connects the ends of two bones together.

Foot sprains are very common and most often occur when the foot twists, rolls or turns beyond its normal range of motion. Usually the sprain is mild, but it may occasionally seriously injure the ligaments or tendons.

Common signs and symptoms of a foot sprain include:

  • Pain in the foot
  • Deep aching in foot
  • Swelling along the bottom of the foot
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the foot

If you sprain your foot or ankle, rest it as much as possible by staying off of it. Wrap it with a bandage to reduce pain and swelling, and ice the area in 15-minute intervals every hour. Try to keep the foot elevated just above the heart so that blood drains back to the heart.

You should always see a member of the foot and ankle team at Lancaster Orthopedic Group if you sprain your foot or ankle. Untreated sprains may result in weak ligaments, which can lead to further sprains or instability. X-rays and other imaging techniques will confirm the diagnosis and help determine the severity of the sprain.

Treatment typically involves immobilizing the foot or ankle by wearing a cast, walking boot, or a brace. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain and inflammation in the area. Your physician may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the ligaments in the foot and ankle and improve range of motion. Severe sprains may require surgery to ensure proper healing.