If you strain something in the upper half of your body, it may be relatively easy to rest that area. However, if you hurt your ankle, you’re faced with a difficult choice. Do you stay off it and inhibit your movement throughout your day? Or do you hobble along and hope it heals despite aggravating it?
There is a good middle ground here. At Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center in Laveen, Arizona, Kyle Durfey, DPM, and Brian Hiapo, DPM, can help your ankle heal and protect your ability to move around. Early treatment can help your ankle heal faster and also help you avoid worsening your injury.
Even a mild sprain calls for rest. If you don’t stay off your ankle, you may further strain the ligaments. In fact, if you don’t allow your ankle to fully heal, you may put yourself at risk for suffering recurrent ankle sprains or developing chronic ankle instability.
If you do injure your ankle, you should adhere to the following protocol until you see Dr. Hiapo or Dr. Durfey. It’s called the RICE method, and it stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Stay off your ankle, as walking on it could cause further injury.
Every few hours, apply an ice pack for about 20 minutes. Continue icing your ankle for the first few days after your injury.
Wrap your ankle with a bandage so that it’s snug, but don’t wrap your ankle so tight that it inhibits blood flow. Wrapping your ankle will help manage inflammation and also help immobilize your ankle as it heals.
Elevating your ankle will help prevent swelling and thus help your ankle heal faster.
When you come to Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center, Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo will thoroughly examine your ankle and diagnose your injury, no matter if it's a sprain, strain, or fracture, for example. If you’re dealing with a sprain that just needs rest, they may recommend using crutches and a brace.
If you’re dealing with a serious sprain, they can immobilize your ankle with a splint or a boot. Then, they’ll work with you throughout the healing process. At a certain point, they’ll start introducing stretches and strength-building exercises to support your full and speedy recovery.
If your ankle injury resulted from something more severe, such as a torn tendon, they may offer corticosteroid injections to relieve your pain and help your ankle heal. In the most extreme cases, Dr. Hiapo and Dr. Durfey can provide minimally invasive ankle surgery.
If you’ve injured your ankle, Dr. Hiapo and Dr. Durfey can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.