Twisted ankle- What to do before you see the doctor!

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

What can you do to limit the pain and prevent further damage till you get to the hospital?

A. Try the RICE therapy:

  1. Rest the foot: Do not move it at all, as further movement may lead to more damage and pain.
  2. Ice Pack: Apply a pack of ice on the foot to control the swelling.
  3. Compress: Wrap the ankle lightly with a bandage. Make sure you don’t tie it up too tightly.
  4. Elevate: Keep the leg elevated. Place it above heart level for the first 48 hours.

B. Remove the toe rings and anklets. It may cause a cramping pain as the leg swells.

C. Manage pain and swelling by taking a painkiller medicine like ibuprofen.

D. Make an appointment with the doctor- Any ankle sprain, small or big, needs to be looked upon by a professional to rule out serious damages.

You may start using the injured area after a rest period of 2 weeks. If the first-aid measures do not suffice, watch out for these symptoms, as they indicate you are in serious trouble and need immediate medical attention.

Get emergency medical assistance if:

  1. You're unable to bear weight on the injured leg, the joint feels unstable or numb, or you can't use the joint. This may mean the ligament was completely torn. On the way to the doctor, apply a cold pack.
  2. You develop redness or red streaks that spread out from the injured area. This means you may have an infection.
  3. You have re-injured an area that has been injured a number of times in the past.
  4. You have a severe sprain. Inadequate or delayed treatment may contribute to long-term joint instability or chronic pain.

Preventing Ankle Sprains:

  1. Warm up prior to exercise. Use movements specific to the ankles.
  2. Wear appropriate supportive shoes.
  3. Take care when exercising/walking on uneven ground, especially after recent recovery.