In Georgia many residents enjoy outdoor activities such as running, hunting, hiking, sports, and more but these activities can make you more likely to roll your ankle. With over 25,000 ankle sprains daily in the United States and over 1 million emergency room visits yearly due to ankle sprains you may be wondering if you should contact your doctor. Some people see ankle sprains as a minor injury requiring a little ice and in most cases this is true. However, there are some key signs you need to look out for and contact an ankle doctor in Georgia immediately if you experience them.
Immediately After Rolling Your Ankle
After you roll your ankle, even if it doesn’t seem severe, it is important to still treat the area with care. Doctors suggest that immediately after rolling your ankle you treat it with the R.I.C.E. method or rest, ice, compression, elevation. Rest involves avoiding putting weight on the ankle, ice can help reduce swelling, compression will stabilize the ankle to reduce swelling and pain, and with elevation you should prop the ankle above your waist. If your ankle feels better after doing these things then it is likely that you don’t need treatment. However, if you have continued swelling, bruising and pain you may need to see your doctor.
Although ankle sprains can be a minor injury in some cases they can be severe. If you are experiencing severe pain in your ankle when applying weight then you likely need to see a doctor. Some soreness is to be expected but if you are unable to bear any weight on the affected ankle there may be a more serious problem. Continuing to walk on your ankle when you are experiencing this type of pain could lead to further aggravation and damage to your ankle.
Extreme Bruising and Swelling
If you are noticing extreme bruising and swelling on your ankle days after you rolled it you should contact an ankle doctor in Georgia. Swelling and extreme bruising can be a sign of an overstretched or completely torn ligament that will need help to heal. When a ligament is damaged it can damage surrounding blood vessels and cause bleeding under your skin which causes bruising. If your ankle has extreme bruising it can be an indication that your ligament is damaged severely and isn’t able to heal itself.
If you are feeling weakness and instability in your affected ankle after the roll it is possible that the ligament has torn completely. In this instance you may have also heard a popping sound when you rolled your ankle. The job of a ligament is to connect a bone to another bone so if your ligament has been fully torn your ankle may feel unstable because there is now nothing connecting the bones. This symptom requires that you see your doctor in order to get the ligament in your ankle fully healed. In most instances your doctor will prescribe a walking boot or ankle brace to give the ankle stability while the ligament heals. Without one of these devices your ankle could continue to shift when you apply pressure and thus prevent the ligament from healing or cause the ligament to heal incorrectly.
It is important to allow your ankle to heal completely before resuming normal high-impact activities such as running and playing sports. Most doctors suggest waiting 4 to 6 weeks before resuming these activities and gradually working yourself up to your pre-injury level even if your ankle feels fine.