Making sure you receive the right ankle treatment after common injuries such as a sprained ankle, tendon injury or fracture will help you get back on your feet quicker. Whenever an ankle injury occurs, remember RICE for an immediate ankle treatment.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compress, and elevate.
Before supporting your weight on the injured ankle, see a doctor to determine if the ankle has been fractured or sprained. Ignoring a problem can lead to much bigger issues such as ankle weakness and possibly arthritis.
Typically, sprains are treated with the above RICE approach. As the sprain heals, stretching and strengthening exercises will be suggested. The severity of the sprain will determine how long it takes before the ankle can support weight. Mild sprains will not require a splint or cast while moderate sprains may need the support of a boot or splint to help immobilize the ankle.
A severely sprained ankle will require a longer period of healing, immobilization and possibly physical therapy, including stretching and strength building. If tendons are injured surgery may be required.
Not all fractures require surgery. When the ankle is stable and the bones are not out of place, a brace or splint will be used to immobilize the ankle while it heals.
When an ankle is unstable and/or more then one bone is fractured, the ankle will need a surgical solution. Screws and a metal plate may be used to hold the bones in place. A splint is used until any swelling goes down and the ankle can be placed in a cast. No weight should be placed on the ankle as it heals.
Following surgery and healing for a fractured ankle, physical therapy is often prescribed to restore the strength and flexibility of the ankle. The goal is to restore it to its normal range of motion. The process can take up to a year to make a full recovery.
It is vital that ankle injuries are treated and properly cared for. A sprain or fracture can quickly sideline you from everyday activities. The best, quickest way to get back to your active life is to take proper care of yourself.
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