Ankle Sprain (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
Usually, an ankle sprain itself does not require a trip to the doctor. The
problem is how to tell a sprain from a more serious injury such as a fracture
(break). If any of the following occur, contact your doctor.
- Pain is uncontrolled, despite the used of over-the-counter medications, elevation, and ice.
- The injured person is unable to walk or cannot walk more than a few steps without severe
- The ankle fails to improve within five to seven days. The pain need not be gone, but it should be improving.
The indications to go to a hospital's emergency department are similar to those for which to call the doctor. The following conditions suggest a fracture or more serious injury or that a splint may be needed for pain control:
- There is severe or uncontrolled pain.
- The injured ankle cannot be moved.
- The foot or ankle is misshapen beyond normal swelling.
- The injured person cannot walk four steps, even with a limp.
- Severe pain felt when pressing over the medial or lateral malleolus, the bony bumps on each side of the ankle.
- There is loss of feeling in the foot or toes.
- There is pain and swelling in the back of the ankle (heel pain), over the Achilles tendon area, or
the inability to push
the toes down (forward-like pressing a gas pedal).
- There is pain or swelling into the upper part of the lower leg
just below the knee or swelling of the calf muscle.
- Redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury are observed.
- You don't know how serious the injury may be or are unsure how to care for it.
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