Should I go to the doctor if I think I have a sprained ankle?

People with a more severe ankle sprain — characterized by extreme bruising or swelling and an inability to bear weight on the foot without significant pain, or when there doesn’t seem to be any improvement over the first several days after the injury — should seek medical attention, Drs. SooHoo and Williams say.

How long should you wait to see a doctor for a sprained ankle?

But give them a call if: Your pain is severe or doesn’t get better with over-the-counter medications, elevation, and ice. You can’t walk, or you have severe pain when you do. Your ankle doesn’t feel better within 5 to 7 days.

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What will a doctor do for a sprained ankle?

Depending on the severity of the sprain, your doctor may recommend an elastic bandage, sports tape or an ankle support brace to stabilize the ankle. In the case of a severe sprain, a cast or walking boot may be necessary to immobilize the ankle while it heals.

Should I go to the doctor if I think I have a sprained ankle? – Related Questions

Should you wrap a sprained ankle overnight?

Compression — Wrapping a stretchable elastic bandage around your foot and ankle can help minimize swelling after injury. If you’re going to wrap your ankle, it is best to put the bandage on first thing in the morning, and then take it off at bedtime.

How long should you stay off a sprained ankle?

2-3 week recovery time.

You will be unlikely to experience any instability around the ankle joint. Typically the symptoms of a Grade I ankle sprain will only last 2-3 weeks. You will be able to walk on the ankle with minimal pain after only a few days and will be able to gradually reintroduce running after 7-10 days.

How do you know if it’s just a sprained ankle?

  • Pain, especially when you bear weight on the affected foot.
  • Tenderness when you touch the ankle.
  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Restricted range of motion.
  • Instability in the ankle.
  • Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury.

Can you walk on a sprained ankle after 2 days?

The pain and swelling of an ankle sprain most often gets better within 48 hours. After that, you can begin to put weight back on your injured foot. Put only as much weight on your foot as is comfortable at first. Slowly work your way up to your full weight.

How do you tell if an ankle is sprained or fractured?

Where is the pain? If your ankle hurts or is tender to the touch directly over your ankle bone, you probably have a fracture. If the pain is in the soft part of your ankle, it’s more likely a sprain.

Can you wiggle your toes with a broken ankle?

Some people think that, if your ankle is broken, you will not be able to wiggle your toes. While this can sometimes be true, oftentimes, you may have a fractured ankle but can still wiggle your toes.

Is my ankle broken if I can walk on it?

Many people assume that if you can put weight on the ankle then it isn’t broken, however, it is possible to walk on a broken ankle, particularly with a less severe fracture. If you’re concerned your ankle may be broken, we recommend contacting your doctor, who can conduct an examination or order and xray if necessary.

How should you sleep with a sprained ankle?

Elevating a sprained ankle reduces the accumulation of fluid in the joint. This can ease swelling, which may also help reduce pain. Try sleeping with the foot and ankle propped up on pillows at a level higher than the heart. When sitting or resting, use pillows or a footrest to keep the foot and ankle elevated.


Can walking on a sprained ankle make it worse?

Yes. That’s the very short answer. According to the National Association of Athletic Trainers, ankle injuries, including sprains, are very often undertreated. Ignoring treatment, including excessive movement of the ankle through unnecessary walking, leads to a greater risk of worsening the injury.

Does sprained ankle pain getting worse?

the pain and swelling seem to get worse rather than better over the first 3-4 days (the bruising often gets worse for a week or more before it starts to fade)

Is a compression sock good for a sprained ankle?

Thanks to the pressure they apply to the affected area, compression socks can be a great tool for recovery. They are part of the four elements of recovery RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and can be your partner even beyond recovering from a sprained ankle.

Does a Grade 2 ankle sprain need a boot?

For a Grade 2 sprain, a removable plastic device, such as a walking boot or aircast brace, can provide support. Grade 3 sprains may require a short leg cast or cast-brace for 10 to 14 days. In most cases, swelling and pain will last 2 to 3 days.

How long should I keep a sprained ankle compressed?

Compression helps decrease swelling and provides stability to your ankle by immobilizing it. You should apply a compression bandage as soon as a sprain occurs. Wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage, such as an ACE bandage, and leave it on for 48 to 72 hours.

When should you put heat on a sprained ankle?

During the first 72 hours, heat should be avoided to prevent increased swelling and inflammation. After about 72 hours, heat can be incorporated into treatment to increase blood flow and aid the overall healing process.

Does rubbing a sprained ankle help?

Some research points to the answer being a resounding yes — you should massage a sprained ankle. This includes a 2017 study , which found that massaging the calf muscle can help improve the ankle’s flexibility, as well as your ability to balance on the ankle joint.

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