What to Do If You Think You've Sprained Your Ankle

Thanks to their location on the body, the ankles are prone to injury in more ways than one. However, determining whether your injury is a sprain or a break can help you seek the appropriate treatment and begin your journey to recovery. Knowing the first steps after an injury or incident allows you to begin recovering as quickly and easily as possible. Find out what you should do if you think you have a sprained ankle with your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle Center in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA.

Ankle Sprain Vs. Broken Ankle
A broken bone and sprained soft tissue are very different conditions but provide similar symptoms. Pain, swelling, discomfort, and bruising are all common with both conditions. However, a broken bone does not allow any pressure to be placed on the foot at all while a sprain may allow you to limp. Additionally, a sprain will produce pain over the soft tissues around the ankle joint while a break will be concentrated over the joint itself. Your doctor will use imagining methods like x-rays to visually inspect the bones and soft tissues of the ankle to ensure that you have the correct diagnosis.

What should I do if I think I have a sprained ankle? 
Sprained ankles occur most after a traumatic injury, like falling or rolling or twisting your ankle. If you experience severe pain, abnormal swelling, or the symptoms of an infection, like a high fever or warmth and redness in the affected area, you should seek immediate medical care. If you have an ankle injury which you cannot walk on at all or can only place a bit of pressure on or have pain and discomfort which lasts more than a few days, you should see your doctor for x-rays, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan. Do not try to walk on the ankle and use crutches until you can see your doctor.

Sprained Ankle Treatments in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA
Treating a sprained ankle relies mainly on the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These four factors allow the body’s natural healing methods to take place and give the ankle time to begin improving. If necessary, over-the-counter painkillers help with pain and swelling. Your doctor may also suggest physical therapy or other methods of treatment if the more conservative treatments fail to provide results.

For more information on sprained ankles or what you can expect from their treatments, please contact your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle Center in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA. Call to schedule your appointment today!

Author
Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC

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