If you’ve sprained your ankle, you’ve no doubt already learned how much an ankle injury can interfere with your daily activities. Our Philadelphia area foot doctors know how frustrating the lack of independence can be when you have a sprained ankle, and we realize that you might be tempted to try to rush your healing time so you can get back to your usual routine. This is not wise, though, because you could end up extending your recovery period for several weeks.
Many doctors recommend the PRINCE approach to treating a sprained ankle at home:
- Protection. Use a supportive brace or compression wrap to protect the ankle from further damage. This should be worn for the first 24 to 36 hours after the ankle has been injured.
- Rest. Stay off the injured ankle as much as possible. If you must walk around, use crutches or a cane until you can walk without pain.
- Ice. Icing the ankle is necessary to reduce the swelling. For the first three days after you are injured, or until the swelling diminishes, apply a cold pack for up to 20 minutes every hour or two.
- NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen will reduce the inflammation and ease the pain of your injury.
- Compression. An elastic compression bandage will help bring down the swelling. Wrap the elastic bandage comfortably (not too tightly) and keep it on for 24 to 36 hours after injury.
- Elevation. While your ankle heals, keep it raised above heart level (while you are sitting or lying down) for a few hours each day, if possible. This will help reduce swelling and bruising.
Since sprained ankle and fracture symptoms can be quite similar, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced Phoenixville podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. The dedicated team of Pennsylvania foot care experts at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates is at your service, with two convenient locations. Call us today in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644 for a consultation.