Ankle sprains are common types of injuries in Texas. Despite how frequently they occur, ankle sprains are also easy to misdiagnose. When an ankle sprain is not diagnosed correctly, the person’s recovery can be impaired because of a delay in getting the right treatment.
Misdiagnoses of ankle sprains occur because there are two types of ankle sprains, including a high ankle sprain and a lateral ankle sprain. While these different types of sprains might appear similar, they need different treatments and affect different ligaments. Both types of ankle sprains can cause swelling and bruising of the entire ankle area. High ankle sprains are less common than lateral ankle sprains but are frequently misdiagnosed.
High ankle sprains can involve five ligaments while lateral ankle sprains can involve three. When a doctor grades an ankle sprain, he or she does so based on the number of ligaments involved and the severity of the tear. Grading also allows the doctor to tell the patient when he or she is safe to return to normal activity. Lateral ankle sprains happen when the foot rolls inward while high ankle sprains happen when the foot rolls outward. Treatment for severe high ankle sprains may include surgery while less-severe lateral sprains may require immobilization for a couple of weeks.
People who suffer high ankle sprains and are misdiagnosed may take much longer to recover and to get the proper treatment. If they are told that they can return to normal activity too soon, they can also suffer further injuries to their ankle. People who are seriously injured because of a misdiagnosis and delayed treatment may benefit from talking to an experienced attorney who may review the person’s medical records and offer an honest assessment of the legal merits of any potential claim.