ankle surgeon in Washington DC

Do You Need a Cast for an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in the United States. They affect both men and women. People who play basketball, football, baseball, or volleyball, or soccer, are more prone than others. It is always wise to have an ankle surgeon in your back pocket, should you need one.

The ankle has tendons, blood vessels, nerves, intricate bones, cartilage, and ligaments. The cartilage connects the bones, while the ligaments support and stabilize them. An ankle sprain is a tear to the ligament. It often involves less severe injury to more than one ligament as well. Causes are stretching or extending the ankle joint past its normal range of motion.


Sprains can be a minor injury which resolves in a few days. They can also be more severe and immobilize you for a period of months. This includes a major rupture of one or more ligaments, which requires surgery to fix.

Many people, especially athletes, live with ankle sprains for years before seeing an orthopedist. You should call your doctor right away if you experience an ankle sprain. Your doctor can diagnose its severity and recommend a course of treatment or ankle surgeon.

Dr. Stein looks at your range of symptoms when diagnosing ankle injuries. Dr. Stein offers skilled foot and ankle surgery in Washington, D.C.


The ankle can sustain many kinds of injuries. As an experienced ankle surgeon, Dr. Stein can diagnose you with an ankle sprain, fracture, break, or something else. The most common symptom of ankle injury is acute pain which feels like it is deep inside your ankle. Swelling, stiffness, weakness, locking, and catching are all signs of an ankle injury.

If you notice the following symptoms in your ankle, you may have an ankle sprain:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Inability to put weight on the affected ankle
  • Skin discoloration
  • Stiffness


Proper diagnosis starts with an X-Ray. An X-Ray may not reveal certain types of damage. For instance, cartilage damage may not appear in the imaging. During diagnosis,
Dr. Stein will examine your ankle, moving it to discover the root cause of your ankle pain. If you have a sprain, he can determine which ligaments are torn. If you have severe ankle pain for three to four months, an MRI might be necessary. Dr. Stein will order an MRI if he suspects a fracture, a serious injury to the ligaments, or damage to the surface of the ankle joint.

These are other symptoms of pain Dr. Stein looks for during diagnosis:

  • Ligament instability
  • Deep bruises to the ankle bone
  • Floating bone chips
  • Prior ankle fractures
  • Injury to the tendon
  • Damage from stretching
  • Nerve pain
  • Scar tissue in your ankle


Unless you have surgery, you do not need to wear a cast for an ankle sprain. An ankle sprain may need surgery in certain rare cases.

Ankle sprain treatment promotes healing and minimizes pain. Dr. Stein will tell you not to put any weight on your ankle during your recovery. He recommends the following:

  • Using elastic bandages (like an ACE bandage) to wrap your ankle, but not too tightly
  • Wearing a brace to support your ankle
  • Using crutches if needed
  • Elevating your foot with pillows as necessary to reduce swelling
  • Taking ibuprofen (like Advil) or acetaminophen (like Tylenol) to manage pain
  • Getting plenty of rest and not putting weight on your ankle

Although you may administer many of these treatments at home, you should visit an orthopedist first. He can give you a proper diagnosis. Dr. Stein is a skilled orthopedist and ankle surgeon practicing in Washington, D.C. Contact Dr. Stein if you have any questions or to schedule a consultation today.


Surgery for ankle sprains is rare. Your doctor may perform surgery if the damage to the ligaments is severe. If non-surgical treatment is not successful, an ankle fracture repair may be the next line of treatment.

Rehabilitation is an important part of recovery from surgery. Patients attend regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Stein. They also do physical therapy exercises to restore ankle function. Rehabilitation can take weeks or months. Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury.

Dr. Stein is a top foot and ankle surgeon in Washington, D.C. Contact Dr. Stein immediately if you experience ankle pain or think you may require surgery.

Ankle Surgery Washington DC

Dr. Stein is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Washington, D.C. specializing in Foot and Ankle Surgery. He diagnoses and treats injuries and ailments of the foot and ankle. Foot and ankle injuries are the most common injuries. They can occur as the result of sports or everyday wear and tear to the ankle joint. If you experience foot or ankle pain, contact Dr. Stein for a consultation.