WHAT IS ANKLE SPRAIN?
An ankle sprain refers to tearing of the ligaments of the ankle. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or outside part of the ankle.
HOW TO IDENTIFY AN ANKLE SPRAIN?
Patients will complain of pain on the outside of their ankle and various degrees of swelling and bleeding under the skin. Technically, this bruising is referred to as ecchymosis. Depending on the severity of the sprain, a person may or may not be able to put weight on the foot.
What should I do if I sprain my ankle?
The “RICE” method is very helpful to remember for a quick and complete recovery of a minor ankle sprain:
- Rest: ¨The first 24-48 hours after the injury is considered the critical treatment period, so physical activities need to be curtailed. Gradually put as much weight on the involved ankle as tolerated until you can walk with a normal gait (with minimal to no pain or limp).
- Ice: For the first 48 hours post-injury, apply an ice pack and elevate the ankle 20 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours. Do not ice an ankle sprain for more than 20 minutes at a time, as this will not accelerate healing time and may also cause damage to the tissues.
- Compression: Use compression when elevating the ankle sprain in the early stages of treatment.
- Elevate: Keep the ankle sprain higher than the level of the heart as often as possible. Elevate at night by placing books under the foot of the mattresses or place pillows under the lower legs. Be sure to stand up slowly in the morning.
WHEN TO CALL A DOCTOR?
An ankle sprain itself usually does not call for a trip to the doctor. However, it is important to consider some important factors in ruling out a more serious injury, such as ankle fracture. If any of the following occur, contact a medical professional immediately:
- Ankle pain that is severe and uncontrolled, despite of over-the- counter medications, elevation, and ice.
- The patient is unable to walk at least 4 steps or cannot walk without severe pain.
- The ankle shows no signs of improvement within five to seven days.
- The foot or ankle looks misshapen beyond normal swelling.
- The patient experiences a loss of feeling in the foot or toes.
- Severe pain caused by pressing over the medial or lateral malleolus (the bumps on each side of the ankle).
- Pain and swelling that is present in the back of the ankle, over the Achilles tendon area, or inability to push the toes down (forward-like pressing a gas pedal).
- Pain or swelling that is present to the upper part of the lower leg just below the knee or swelling of the calf muscle.
- With a normal ankle sprain, a follow-up visit one to two weeks after the injury is advisable to help with flexibility and strengthening exercises.
KIMS offers specialized ankle injury treatment in Hyderabad. We offer treatment, including ankle surgery in Hyderabad, India, for a wide range of injuries that affect people of all ages. Our dedicated team, led by orthopaedic surgeon in Hyderabad, Dr. I. V. Reddy, will develop a detailed treatment plan, which, if necessary, can include specialized, minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery. We also provide a rehabilitation program focused on returning you back to your normal life.