Quick Answer: How Do I Know If My Ankle Injury Is Serious?

How can you tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture?

A fracture is simply a broken bone.

A sprain is basically a ligament or tendon that has been stretched out, or maybe even torn..

How should you sleep with a sprained ankle?

Keep your leg up so that your ankle is higher than your heart. This allows the fluids from the damaged tissues that are causing the swelling to drain back into your circulation. Place a pillow under your foot when you sleep at night and prop up your foot when you are sitting or applying ice packs during the day.

Should I go to ER for ankle injury?

Go to an urgent care or ER for foot or ankle pain if: You have severe pain and swelling. You are unable to walk or put weight on your foot. Have an open wound (Emergency room only) Have signs of infection such as redness, warmth or tenderness (Emergency room only)

How do I know if my ankle is broken or sprained?

Swelling is another sign of injury. If the swelling comes on gradually and is mild, the injury is likely a sprain or less severe. More immediate and significant swelling indicates a bony injury and possible fracture. When severe fractures occur, blistering of the skin is not uncommon.

Is it OK to walk on a sprained ankle?

In general, if your pain is bearable, you should try to walk or bear some weight while using crutches and a protective brace, because these activities promote healing. Some people who have repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness.

Can you break your ankle and still walk on it?

Broken ankle — can you still walk? Typically, a minor ankle fracture won’t prevent you from walking. You might even be able to walk right after the injury. If you have a serious break, you’ll need to avoid walking for a few months.

What helps a sprained ankle heal faster?

TreatmentRest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.Ice. Use an ice pack or ice slush bath immediately for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake. … Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. … Elevation.

How long before a broken ankle stops hurting?

Your Recovery You can expect the pain from your broken (fractured) bone to get much better almost right after your doctor fixes the fracture. But you may have some pain for 2 to 3 weeks and mild pain for up to 6 weeks after surgery.

What does a Grade 2 ankle sprain look like?

The ankle feels stable and it is usually possible to walk with minimal pain. Grade 2: A more severe sprain, but incomplete tear with moderate pain, swelling and bruising. Although it feels somewhat stable, the damaged areas are tender to the touch and walking is painful.

Can you wiggle your toes with a broken foot?

Compound fractures are severe and require immediate medical attention. Loss of Mobility – If you can’t say where any of them are broken, wiggle your fingers or toes. If doing so happens to be difficult or painful, you may have a break above that point. Intense Pain – Breaks are painful, especially under pressure.

How do you know if my ankle is broken?

It’s most likely a broken ankle ifYou have severe pain or pain that gets worse over time.You can’t put any weight on the injured ankle.You have trouble moving the injured ankle.If you heard a popping noise at the time of the injury.If you notice your ankle looks deformed or not aligned properly with your leg.

How long does a rolled ankle take to heal?

Mild, low-grade ankle sprains will usually heal in one to three weeks with proper rest and non-surgical care( such as applying ice). Moderate injuries may take between three and four weeks. Because of limited blood flow to the ligaments of the ankle, more severe injuries may take between three and six months to heal.

Should I go to the hospital for 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.

What should you do if you break your ankle?

Ankle Fracture Treatment Self-Care at HomeStay off the injured ankle so you do not injure it further.Keep the ankle elevated to help decrease swelling and pain.Apply cold packs to the injured area to decrease swelling and pain. Do not apply ice directly. Cold packs are effective for up to 48 hours.

How painful is a broken ankle?

The most common symptoms of an ankle fracture are pain and swelling, either of which may be present only in the ankle region itself or spread to parts of the foot or up toward the knee. Any pain will usually be more intense if the injured person tries to put weight on the ankle.

What happens if a fracture is left untreated?

If untreated, the pain experienced from a fracture will likely worsen as time goes on. The main risk of an untreated fracture, however, is improper healing. This can result in visible deformities, misalignment, limited movement, and infection.

When should you go to the doctor for an ankle injury?

Seek immediate medical attention if you: Have severe pain or swelling. Have an open wound or severe deformity. Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or a fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C) Cannot put weight on your foot.

Should I wrap a sprained ankle at night?

Compression: An elastic bandage can bring down swelling and stabilize the joint. Wrap it snugly, but not so tight that it causes numbness or tingling. And remove or significantly loosen it when you go to bed at night.

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.

What does a hairline fracture in the ankle feel like?

What are the symptoms of a hairline fracture? The most common symptom of a hairline fracture is pain. This pain can gradually get worse over time, especially if you don’t stop weight-bearing activity. Pain is usually worse during activity and lessens during rest.

Is bruising a good sign with a sprained ankle?

Some of the fibres of the ligament will then tear. A damaged ankle ligament causes inflammation, swelling, and bleeding (which shows as bruising) around the affected joint.

Can I move my toes if my ankle is broken?

Most believe that if they can wiggle their toes or move the ankle around that an ankle fracture has not occurred. The reason this is not true is because the nerves and muscles that allow the movement of the ankle have not been affected by the fracture.