Thanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, May 27, for our live online chat on “Symptoms, diagnosis and treating an ankle sprain,” hosted by Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine physician Oluseun Olufade, MD.
With summer coming into full swing, a lot of us are out, about and getting more active. Some of our activities can lead to ankle sprains. Dr. Olufade discussed some common misconceptions about treating sprained ankles and exercises you can do to strengthen your ankles to help prevent sprains.
See all of Dr. Olufade’s answers by checking out the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:
Question: My son rolled his ankle this weekend at the beach. What do I need to do?
Dr. Olufade: Great question! We use something called the RICE principle. Start with “R”est by staying off the foot, “I”ce the ankle for 20 minutes at a time every hour or two, use “C”ompression, like an Ace bandage, and “E”levate the foot as much as possible.
Question: What are some common mistakes that people make when they think they have an ankle sprain? In other words, what do people do to “treat” ankle sprains that can actually make them worse?
Dr. Olufade: Ankle sprains can be associated with fractures. Some people try to “walk it off” if they think they have an ankle sprain, and without a proper diagnosis, you could actually be doing more damage to your ankle without knowing it.
If you do have an ankle sprain (not a fracture) I would recommend resting the injured ankle for 3-5 days. Some people worry and stay off of the foot for too long. Prolonged immobilization will make for a longer recovery. People often also make the mistake of using heat on the acute ankle sprain. Heat can actually worsen swelling, so ice packs are recommended instead of heat.
Question: How can you tell if you have a fracture and not just a sprain? Are there any additional symptoms other than increased pain?
Dr. Olufade: Fractures are usually diagnosed by x-rays. You should see a doctor to confirm whether you have a fracture or not.
If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. You can also visit emoryhealthcare.org/ortho for a full list sports medicine treatments offered.
If you have additional questions for Dr. Olufade, fee free to leave a comment in our comments area below.