You would be surprised how easy it is to get a sprained ankle. Considered to be the most common among the musculoskeletal injuries, a sprained ankle is when the outside side of the ankle has an injured or torn ligament. When you sprain your ankle, you will feel pain and discomfort, depending on the gravity of the injury. It is different from a broken bone, although because of the pain it can be difficult to differentiate. Sometimes, an X-ray is necessary to know if your ankle has been sprained or you already have a broken bone. orthopaedics in London should be able to help you with that.
Sprained ankles can be uncomfortable, though enough care and treatment can help you ease its pain. Here are some of the things you should do when you sprain an ankle:
Rest and compression
There are instances when you wouldn’t need to go to orthopaedics in London right away to treat your sprain, especially if the pain is manageable.
The foremost thing you can do is, of course, rest. Do not walk or put weight on the injured ankle in order to prevent it from getting more injured. If it is absolutely necessary that you move or walk, consider using crutches. However, if your injury has no broken bone involved, it should be safe for you to walk and put a bit of weight on it; it could feel uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t lead to further injuries.
While resting, put ice on the injury to keep the swelling down. However, do not put it directly on your skin; use a cloth or an ice bag). Put ice only 20 minutes at a time. Recline the injured foot as well; ideally, above your waist to facilitate with better blood flow and healing. Using compression could also alleviate the pain a bit. Tightly wrap your ankle with a compression wrap or elastic bandage.
When to go to a doctor
Of course, there will be injuries that won’t be treated properly using simple first aid. This is when you should consider going to an orthopaedic London doctor. But when exactly should you go to a doctor?
First, if there is bruising, deformity, or any significant or major swelling in the injured area, you should go to a doctor immediately. Swelling is normal in a simple sprain, but a prolonged or an unusual swelling is a sign of a major injury. Deformity is also a major sign that you should go to an orthopaedic London as soon as possible.
When you have applied the necessary first aid to the injured foot but it has not improved significantly—or when the pain is too much to bear—go to a doctor. All of these signs can mean your injury is more than just a sprained ankle.
An orthopaedic London doctor will examine your ankle and your lower leg, check for tenderness around the skin of the injured area, and ask you to move your foot to see the extent of the damage. An X-ray will be done to see the injury thoroughly; in some, more extreme cases, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging or a CT scan might be necessary.