An ankle sprain can occur when you least expect it. A simple fall or misstep can leave you in excruciating pain.
Even though you may be anxious to receive treatment for your injury, you may not know what to expect. Here is a bit of information to help you better understand what is typically done to treat a sprained ankle.
In order for your doctor to properly diagnose your condition, they must first examine the injured ankle. They may palpate or touch the area around the ankle, looking for swelling and tenderness. In addition, the doctor may move the foot to determine which motions cause you discomfort.
If your physician believes that the sprain is severe or that you may have a fracture, they may also order further testing, such as an x-ray, a CT scan, an ultrasound, or even an MRI. All of these tests are noninvasive and only involve the producing of images that can better display the internal state of your ankle and associated tissues.
After the doctor has determined the nature and severity of your sprain, they can prescribe treatment. The ankle injury treatment should encourage healing and help to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Additionally, the treatment should help your ankle return to its full functionality.
Here are some of the methods of treatment that your physician will likely suggest:
- R.I.C.E. This is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You will likely be asked to avoid participation in activities that stress your ankle. Additionally, you can apply ice to help reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. Your doctor may also have you wrap and elevate your ankle to help prevent swelling.
- Brace. A brace may be used to support your ankle and keep it stable. If even more stabilization is needed, an orthotic boot or cast may be prescribed.
- Medicine. Pain-relieving medication, such as acetominophen and ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and even lessen inflammation.
- Therapeutic exercises. As your ankle heals, your doctor may suggest exercises to help restore the flexibility and strength of your ankle.
- Surgical treatment. In severe cases, a surgical procedure may be needed to reattach or repair a torn or damaged tendon or ligament.
If you have suffered an ankle injury, schedule an appointment with a physician in your local area. As the time of your doctor's visit nears, be prepared to describe your symptoms in detail and provide information about past injuries and current medications.