Why A Sprained Ankle Could Be More Serious When You Have Diabetes

An ankle sprain is a common injury, but when you have diabetes, a simple sprain can affect you more seriously than it does someone without diabetes. Sprains can be mild and just give you swelling and bruising, or they can be so severe that you need surgery. Even if your sprain seems mild, you should have your ankle examined by a podiatrist when you have diabetes. Here's why an ankle injury can be more serious when you have diabetes.

You Might Have Decreased Sensation In Your Ankle

One of the effects of diabetes is the loss of sensation in your feet. You might have some feeling, but you may not feel as well as you should. Your sensations might be strong enough that a sprained ankle gives you a lot of pain, but the sensations could be weak enough that you don't notice complications like sores and infections. For this reason, you should have someone examine your ankle to determine the full extent of the injury and monitor your healing to make sure no complications arise that you aren't aware of.

There Could Be Decreased Blood Flow In Your Ankle

In addition to affecting the nerves in your feet, diabetes affects the blood vessels. Blood flow is often diminished in your feet when you have diabetes, and decreased blood flow makes healing a slower process. This is one reason sores on your feet are slow to heal and can turn into ulcers. A sprained ankle often involves torn tissues that need blood that carries oxygen and important nutrients needed for healing. When blood flow is diminished, recovery could be longer from a sprain, especially if it's a bad one. You'll want proper treatment from a foot and ankle doctor so you heal as quickly as possible.

The Sprain Could Make Your Blood Sugar Worse

An injury to your body that causes inflammation and trauma can also cause your blood sugar to elevate. An elevated blood sugar level can then impact your healing from the injury. When you see a podiatrist after you've been injured, treatment can begin that helps reduce inflammation and support healing so your blood sugar can return to the normal range as soon as possible. You may also need to work with your regular doctor to control your blood sugar after your injury, especially if you need to have ankle surgery.

With proper care, your sprain has a better chance of a quick recovery so you can resume your usual activities and stay active, which is important for managing diabetes. An ankle doctor can recommend a treatment and rehabilitation program and let you know when it's safe to walk, run, and play sports again when your healing is complete.