Treating Sprained Ankles

Among the more common injuries we see at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center are ankle sprains. In many instances these injuries come about on the playing field in soccer or football, for example, when your foot is planted and headed one way and then suddenly gets twisted in a different direction. Ankle sprains can also occur less dramatically, like stepping off a curb or missing the bottom step.

How Severe is the Sprain?

If you’ve sprained your ankle you will most likely experience pain, swelling and bruising. Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe. The degree of pain and swelling will correlate to the severity of the sprain. If you have sprained your ankle badly, you may not be able to bear weight or walk on it. Getting your ankle evaluated promptly and beginning rehabilitation as soon as possible is very important. Patients who delay treatment or just limp along at home until their ankle stops hurting are more likely to have repeated sprains and possibly long-term, chronic ankle pain and weakness.

Repairing the Damage

If you have swelling and bruising along with pain after twisting your ankle it should be evaluated by one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas. After examining your ankle, the foot doctor will most likely want you to have a digital x-ray (which can be done conveniently right in our Long Beach office) to rule out a fracture, which can happen at the same time as a sprain. Once the podiatrist has assessed the degree of injury, an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

The PRINCE Regimen

Until your appointment, you can care for your ankle using the PRINCE regimen:

Protection: Use a brace or other ankle support

Rest: Stay off your foot or avoid bearing weight by using crutches

Ice: Apply ice for 10-20 minutes every hour or two for the first 24 to 72 hours

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief

Compression: An ACE bandage or elastic compression wrap for the first 24-36 hours will help reduce swelling

Elevation: Keep your ankle above the level of your heart for 2-3 hours a day if possible

To get your ankle checked, contact us at: 562-420-9800 as soon as possible after the injury occurs.