What Should I do?
Associated symptoms following an ankle injury include pain, swelling, bruising and stiffness of the ankle. As discussed in last month’s article, the “RICE” (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) method should be followed.
The first step would be to get the injury assessed by a medical professional so as to determine the extent and location(s) of the trauma. A history of the injury will be discussed and recorded as well as a physical examination of your foot and ankle.
Diagnosis may vary from a minor grade 1 to a severe grade 3 tear which may involve more than ligaments and tendons and more than one structure.
There are possibilities of fractures and often patients ask if they should I have an X-ray.
There is a commonly used set of rules called the “Ottawa Ankle Rules” that gives a good indication whether an X-ray may be required.
There are many areas as seen in the diagram that are assessed. In addition to these areas of the ankle bones on the inside and outside, the mid foot inside and outside of the foot – being able to walk 4 steps helps to do determine the need for an X-ray.
Once a diagnosis is made your treatment may vary from conservative, eg. Physio treatment, too more severe where sprains and fractures may need immobilization in a “moon boot”
Depending on the injury surgery may also be required in severe cases. It is important to get your ankle assessed and adequately treated. If not this may lead to increased risks of re-injury and dysfunction.
Next issue we will continue to discuss treatment and rehabilitation.