Mercy Foot And Ankle Surgeon Dr. Rebecca Cerrato Of The Institute For Foot And Ankle Reconstruction Discusses Treating Ankle Pain, Sprains

May 6, 2013
Dr. Rebecca Cerrato of The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy

Dr. Rebecca Cerrato of The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day, so there are always some good facts and advice to put out about the common injury.

A few months ago when Ulka Zaleski was walking down some stairs, she missed the last step and twisted her ankle.

"It twisted, I guess inward, and I just collapsed on the floor. At first I thought I might have broken it because I couldn't bear any weight on it," she said.

According to Dr. Rebecca Cerrato of The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy, Zakeski had sprained her ankle.

"A sprain just means an injury to a ligament. Ankle sprains -- almost 90 percent of them are when you roll your foot in," she explained. "It's an inversion injury, and therefore you injure the lateral ligaments as opposed to an eversion injury, which is very rare, and you injure your medial ligaments."

Those who do sprain their ankles should remember the acronym RICE when treating it:

  • R is for rest -- get off your foot immediately and rest it.
  • I is for ice -- apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes on and off for one to two days.
  • C is for compression -- wrap the ankle with a bandage to help reduce swelling.
  • E is for elevation -- elevate the leg above the heart.

"You need to have it elevated above the level of the heart to be able to maximize and minimize how much swelling that's going to happen," Dr. Cerrato said.

If you do sprain your ankle, get it checked out in a reasonable amount of time.

"The good rule of thumb is, within the first day or two, if it's still extremely painful to the point where it's difficult to walk, have somebody check it out," Dr. Cerrato said.



Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

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Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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