Toddler Twisted Ankle Clinic Questions and Answers
If your toddler has twisted their ankle, come to Bay Area Foot & Ankle Associates today for treatment. Call us today to book an appointment. We have 2 locations to serve you in Walnut Creek, CA and 1 location in Brentwood, CA.
Toddlers are always on the go, busy playing and having fun. Parents often have to chase after them and make sure they do not run too far ahead; it is in their very nature to constantly be on the move. On top of the fact that toddlers are new to walking, all of this running can sometimes lead to trips, falls or twisted ankles. In the majority of cases, toddlers get right back up again as if nothing happened, but sometimes they can twist their ankle far enough that it pulls on the ligaments, and becomes strained.
How can I tell if my toddler has a sprained ankle?
An ankle sprain is an injury that causes a stretch or tear in any one of the ligaments in the ankle joint. The ankle has four main ligaments, which are strong connective bands of tissue that attach bones to the joint. The most common type of sprain is known as a lateral ankle sprain, which involves the ligaments on the outside part of the ankle. Another common type is medial ankle sprains, which involve the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle in toddlers may include:
- Swelling, which can develop in minutes or over the course of several hours and is caused by soft tissue damage
- Pain around the outside of the ankle
- Bruising, which shows up within two to three days, and typically appears at the site of the injured ligaments
- Inability to bear weight on the ankle
The only way to be certain if a toddler has sprained their ankle is to get a professional medical evaluation. Pediatricians diagnose ankle sprains by first asking the child about their symptoms and how the injury occurred. It is imperative that parents know what happened at the time of the injury, as this will greatly assist in the diagnosis. They will examine the child’s ankle, and may order an X-ray if needed, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
When should you see a doctor for a toddler’s twisted ankle?
A twisted ankle should receive medical attention if it exhibits the following symptoms:
- Significant swelling
- Bone misalignment
- Severe pain not resolved with rest
- Marked tenderness to the touch
- The toddler cannot walk
- They cannot move their ankle or bear any weight on it
- There is a change in the color of the skin, such as purple or blue
- Bleeding or a break in the skin
What’s the difference between a sprain and a twisted ankle?
A twisted ankle is another name for a sprained ankle and is more so referring to the way that the injury was sustained. Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists, turns or rolls beyond its normal motions and damage is sustained to one or more ligaments. Sprains can also occur if a foot is stomped on an uneven surface, beyond the normal force of stepping. This causes the ligaments to stretch in an abnormal position, beyond their normal range. A ligament is an elastic structure. Ligaments are designed to stretch within a certain range, where they can easily go back to their normal positions. A sprain occurs when a ligament is forced to stretch beyond its normal range of motion, and in severe cases, it can cause the elastic fibers to tear.
If a child sprains their ankle, are they more likely to sprain it again?
Sprains are more likely to result in a repeated injuries the ligaments can become more sensitive after previously being strained. Because of this, it is very important to receive proper treatment for a sprain as this protects the integrity of the ankles in the future.
At Bay Area Foot & Ankle Associates, we are dedicated to providing you and your little ones with the care you need to heal from and avoid future ankle injuries. We have three locations to better serve you: one in Brentwood and two in Walnut Creek (located near Rossmoor and John Muir MC). We serve patients from Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg, Antioch, Alamo, Danville, and Oakley, CA.
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