Sprained Ankle? Here Are the Important Steps to Take Next
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports and exercise injuries seen at Family Foot & Ankle Centers. If you sprain your ankle, how quickly you spring into action and initiate treatment can make all the difference in your recovery time.
In this post, Dr. Petty will discuss what to do if you have a sprained ankle.
What to Do for a Sprained Ankle: The First Steps
First treatment for a sprained ankle consists of four steps that include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is known as the RICE method.
First step is rest and is the most important. You need to get all the weight off of your ankle immediately and sit down. This is important even if it means missing the rest of a game or your workout. Make sure to elevate the ankle in the air while you are resting.
Next step is to apply ice to the ankle. The goal here is to keep the swelling to a minimum and to help numb the pain. It’s important that you leave the ice on for at least 20 minutes and protect the skin from the ice. This will help you avoid painful ice pack burns.
Compression is the next step. This means applying a bandage, such as a ace bandage, to the sprained ankle. The goal here is to help stabilize the ankle and reduce the swelling. Make sure that you haven’t wrapped the bandage too tightly around your ankle. When you apply pressure to your toenail, it should turn white but once you lift your finger, the color should return almost immediately. If you notice a delay then the bandage is too tight.
Finally, elevate your ankle so that it’s slightly above your hips. This reduces blood flow to area and reduces swelling.
When to See a Professional
In general, it’s always smart to have a podiatrist evaluate a sprained ankle. This is especially important if the pain persists for several days or becomes more severe. The ankle consists of many tendons, ligaments and bones that can become damaged in an injury. If the sprained ankle results in an open wound or bones poking out from the skin, seek medical attention immediately.
With A Sprained Ankle, Act Quickly
Even though the temptation can often be to “power through” a sprained ankle, this is a dangerous idea. Acting quickly to implement the RICE method can lead to a long recovery period and more severe injuries to your ankle, foot, and leg as a whole.
Make an appointment with a foot specialist at Family Foot & Ankle Centers to get the level of care and treatment you deserve. We promise that we will get you back out there before you know it.