Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:
Learn how to take care of a twisted ankle that is keeping your from running and exercising!
What Is A Twisted Ankle?
It can occur when your foot turns inward and the ligaments and muscles on the outside of your foot are injured.
- Most common ankle injury.
- Can take days to months to heal depending on severity.
- Can cause ankle instability during standing & athletics.
- Can be treated much faster with immediate first aid treatment.
Symptoms Of A Twisted Ankle:
Initially inflammation will occur in the area. This will lead to vessels leaking fluid & white blood cells into the area. The ankle will swell in about 20-30 minutes.
- Ankle Pain, mostly on the outside.
- Swelling, warmth & redness.
- Increase in fluid.
- Decrease in joint mobility.
Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:
1) Grade 1 Sprain: Stretching of the ligaments.
This is a very mild sprain that should only take 3-5 days or up to 2-3 weeks to get better.
- The difference in time has to do with how you treat the twisted ankle.
- If there is initial first aid within minutes to hours, the healing time can greatly decrease.
Recovery Time: 3 days – 2 weeks!
- Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation!
Grade 1 Treatment:
A) Ice The Ankle:
- This is most beneficial directly after the injury.
- Icing 2-3x per day for about 15-20 minutes will decrease the flow of inflammatory cells into the muscle.
- Afterwards the arteries will vasodilate further flushing out inflammatory cells from the region.
- Ice has deeper penetrating power than heat.
- Do not use heat immediately after the injury!
- If possible elevate your leg while watching TV.
- This will prevent as many inflammatory cells from reaching your ankle.
- It will also drastically decrease the swelling.
- It will increase the back flow of venous blood and help flush out inflammatory cells.
- Use an ACE bandage or any other type of compression wrap.
- It should not be so tight that it cuts off blood flow!
- Use ice over top.
D)Topical anti-inflammatories or analgesics:
- There are anti-inflammatory creams that can be prescribed by your podiatrist that can decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
- Capsaicin & Voltaren gel works great.
- Biofreeze or anything with menthol in it.
- These include Ibuprofen & Aspirin.
- This can be over the counter or prescription.
- Do not take these unless instructed to do so by your physician or podiatrist.
- Take a 1-2 week course to attempt to decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
- Take 2-3x doses per day as instructed, this builds up anti-inflammatory enzyme levels in your system.
- Taking just 1-2 pills and then stopping does nothing for inflammation!
2) Grade 2 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.
This is when one or more of the lateral ankle ligaments have been damaged. This will take a minimum of 2-4 weeks to heal & could take even longer.
- This means that either the anterior talofibular ligament or the calcaneofibular ligament are partially torn.
- If these types of sprains are not treated properly, they may lead to chronic ankle instability.
- Athletes with chronic ankle instability will likely need braces & physical therapy in the future.
- It is even possible to start developing ankle arthritis & ankle spurs within a decade or so chronic ankle instability.
Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks Minimum!
- Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation initially.
- Time off until it heals is usually necessary.
- Accommodation braces may be necessary early on until healing.
Grade 2 Treatment:
A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 Treatments.
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation & Anti-Inflammation.
B) Brace The Ankle:
- There are many great braces available.
- This will protect your ankle as it is healing the final few weeks.
C) Physical Therapy:
- If your ankle is still sore after 2-3 months, this may be necessary.
- This will help increase your proprioception & muscle strength.
D) Consider seeing a podiatrist:
X-rays & MRIs may be necessary in case this is a more dramatic injury.
3) Grade 3 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.
This is a complete tear of the ankle ligaments with possible dislocation of the ankle.
- This type of ankle injury will take many months to heal.
- It is likely to have an osteochondral defect: this means cartilage damage.
- Other foot and ankle tendons or ligaments may also be damaged.
- It may be necessary to check for compartment syndrome.
Recovery Time: 2-3 Months+ !
- This type of ankle sprain will require a visit to your podiatrist for evaluation.
- Depending on the situation or the damage, you may need surgery to avoid future damage.
A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 & 2 Treatments.
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Anti-Inflammation, Bracing & Physicial Therapy.
B) See A Podiatrist:
With how severe this injury is. MRI & X-rays will definitely be needed.