Whether you are faced with a minor sprained ankle or an injury that is deeper in the ankle joint, it’s important to treat it with swift and careful attention.
Identifying an Ankle Injury – What To Look For
If you suspect an ankle injury, the most common form is either a sprain or a fracture.
Usually caused by a more violent blow or twisting trauma to the ankle, symptoms of a fractured ankle bone or bones include:
- Instant and severe pain
- Disfiguring swelling and bruising
- Tender and painful to touch
- Inability to place any weight on the injured leg
A severe spraining of the tendons and ligaments in the ankle can often mask the symptoms of a fractured ankle, so it’s important that any ankle injury is examined and attended to by a qualified physician. Only a qualified physician can provide an accurate and reliable assessment of the severity of the injury.
Treating an Ankle Injury – How You Can Help
Elastoplast offers a range of ankle injury management products to help you protect and care for you and your family.
Following in injury, your first point of call should be to a qualified physician. Immediately following the accident and while you are waiting for a physician, follow and apply the RICER protocol to the affected area:
- Rest – rest the ankle and avoid putting weight on the injured foot.
- Ice – apply a cold pack to injury for 20 minutes every 2 hours to help reduce the discomfort of the injury.
- Compression - Apply Elastoplast Heavy Crepe Bandage or Elastoplast Sport Cohesive Bandage, covering the injured area, as well as the areas above and below. Compression reduces bleeding and swelling.
- Elevation – Elevate the injured area and rest on a soft surface to help stop any bleeding and swelling.
- Referral – Refer yourself or the injured child to a qualified physician for precise diagnosis and further care and treatment advice.
Preventing an Ankle Injury – How to Best Prepare Yourself
Preventing an ankle injury involves more than just avoiding common injury risk factors such as a sudden change in direction or dangerous and slippery surfaces.
There are a number of proactive ways you can help prevent ankle injuries from occurring or reoccurring, including:
- Remaining hydrated before, during and after exercise
- Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts and training sessions
- Gentle and progressive training prior exercising or playing sport
- Focussing on building up ankle strength with increasingly stronger agility drills
- Wearing specific ankle protection especially for previously injured ankles
- Wearing appropriate footwear while exercising to ensure your feet and ankles are adequately supported
- Avoiding activities that cause severe pain and discomfort
- Consistently warming up and cooling down before and after exercise
Assessing the safety of the training or play area