Every ankle sprain is different. Dr. Merrill will evaluate your injury and prescribe the best treatment specific to your case. X-rays are often taken when the issue is bone related, or when children present signs of a sprain. Children have sensitive growth plates in the bones that need to be carefully monitored when injured. Bone scans, CT scans, and MRIs are often used to acquire more accurate representations of specific tissues and blood flow.
Immediately following a sprain, there are a few things you can do at home. You should keep all weight off of the sprained ankle, and brace it if you have one available. Bracing can also be achieved by taping up the ankle, or by wearing high top shoes or hiking boots for short-term care. Ice the injury immediately; this greatly helps to reduce swelling and any possible bleeding. If the skin turns white you should stop icing immediately as you may have a cold injury. If you have been diagnosed with a vascular disease, diabetes, or nerve issues, please speak to Dr. Merrill before applying ice as it could cause further complications. Get gravity on your side by elevating the ankle to help reduce swelling. Physical therapy is sometimes needed for flexibility, stability, and strength training of the ankle. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the ligaments of the ankle.
Dr. Evan Merrill is "The Running Expert." As an avid runner himself, Dr. Merrill gives advice for fellow runners on how to keep their feet happy and healthy. To read more about Dr. Merrill, visit his blog Dr. Merrill on the Run or visit Our Staff page.