After the treatment of your sprained ankle you can go home. If you sprain your ankle, your foot inverses too far. The result is a painful and swollen ankle. When is your ankle sprained, when is it necessary to examine your ankle and what can you do yourself? These questions will be answered in this folder.
During a wrong step or movement your ankle can bend inwards or outwards. We call this a “sprain” or distorsion. The ankle ligaments (mostly) on the outside stretch or tears a bit. A total tear or rupture of your ankle ligaments is rare. Due to the tear, the damage on the ligaments and blood vessels can cause a swelling and a bruise, often on the outside of the ankle.
What can you do yourself?
- Try to prevent new swelling of your ankle. With the use of crutches, you can relieve your ankle from more painful forces and movements. Dependent of the situation, you receive a pressure bandage or elastic sock (tubigrip).
- A pressure bandage gives support but does not speed up your recovery.
- Walking improves your recovery, try to walk as soon as possible. Are you in pain during a walk, stop and try it again the next day.
- Prevent your ankle from becoming stiff by moving it frequently.
- If there is a swelling, put your foot high (higher than you knee and your knee higher than your hips) to decrease the swelling. This will help for the pain.
- Cooling can help for the pain. Put a layer of fabric (e.g. a towel) between the ice or the ice-pack and your ankle to prevent the skin from being damaged by the cold.
- Riding the bicycle is a good exercise for your recovery.
- Be careful with sports where the chances on a new sprain are present.
Keep in mind that if you are driving with a pressure bandage or an elastic sock (tubigrip), you are driving uninsured.
When does my ankle need to be examined again?
Due to the swelling, it is not possible to examine your ankle properly at the moment of visiting the Emergency Department. There is shown to be no fracture in your ankle but a tear in a ligament can not be excluded. After 4-7 days, the swelling will be less. If the pain is not fewer than the day of the accident, you can visit you general practitioner to have your ankle examined again.
How long will the recovery take?
Stretched ankle ligament: After 3-4 days the pain will be less. Walking normally will be possible after two weeks.
Teared ankle ligament: This injury can take up to several months to recover. A special brace or tape can help with the stability of your ankle. The general practitioner can provide an ankle brace. A physiotherapist can assist during this recovery with exercises.
When do you need to get in contact with your general practitioner?
- If the swelling is still the same after 4 days
- If there is pain after the swelling is gone
- If you need more painkillers
U can always call us.
Do you still have questions after reading the folder? Contact the hospital ‘Fracture’ phone, number 020 – 634 6194 available Monday – Friday 10.00-12.00 and 13.00-16.00. Do you have questions about payment or insurance? Contact your insurance company or visit www.bovenij.nl page ‘Kosten en verzekering’ (in Dutch).
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