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First Aid for Ankle Injuries

Trust us on this one: you really don’t want to mess around with an ankle injury.

True, sprains are the most common lower limb injury by a wide margin. But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. You should never, ever let yourself think, “it’s just a sprain.” For starters, that may not even be true—that sprain could be hiding a more serious bone fracture underneath. Two, sprains alone are serious injuries worthy of professional care! Even mild or moderate sprains could lead to serious complications like ankle instability or arthritis if they aren’t allowed to heal properly!

Proper first aid, beginning right after the injury, is a crucial component of that healing process—alongside scheduling an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist as quickly as possible after the injury.Ankle Sprains

Your first call is determining whether you need to go the ER or not. Signs like:

  • severe pain and/or swelling
  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • skin that changes color
  • visible signs of dislocation or deformity

… are no joke and should be addressed by a physician immediately. These are all indications that a severe trauma has taken place, including the possibility of an ankle fracture. Do not try to bear weight on the injury. Control any bleeding and get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

For non-emergencies, book an appointment with the Absolute Foot Care Specialists at the earliest availability. In the meantime, you should follow the RICE first aid protocols:

  • R is for Rest. Put as little weight on the ankle as possible (ideally none) for at least 48 hours after the injury, or at least until you can see a specialist. Do not—repeat, DO NOT—try to hobble home from your running route or try to play out the rest of the game.
  • I is for Ice. Prepare an ice pack to help you numb the pain and keep the swelling to a minimum. Begin as soon as possible after the injury. Ice for no more than 20 minutes at time, with at least an hour off between icings. Do not apply ice directly to skin, as this can cause tissue damage.
  • C is for Compression. Lightly compress both the ankle and the surrounding area with either a brace or a compression wrap made from elastic or neoprene. You don’t want it so tight that it cuts off the circulation—just light pressure that keeps pressure at bay.
  • E is for Elevation. As you rest, keep the ankle elevated as often as possible. Ideally, this will be above the level of the heart. Put up your feet when you sit, and prop up your ankle with a couple of pillows while you sleep or recline.

We already said it once, but we’re saying it again: don’t underestimate your ankle injury! Get the help you need by calling the Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas at (702) 839-2010.

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