What to Do When an Ankle Sprain Occurs

Patients in the area of San Antonio, TX and Schertz, TX seeking doctors for their sports and occupational injuries are welcome to work with our professionals, Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty. While some serious injuries require the assistance of a medical professional, some can be handled at home. Some patients will ask our team, what should I do when an ankle sprain occurs?

Handling a sprained ankle

When patients have suffered a minor sprained ankle, they may be able to deal with the condition at home. The idea is to promote healing of the ligaments, restore the function of the ankle, and to reduce swelling and pain. In most cases, an ankle sprain can be handled with the RICE acronym. This stands for:

• Rest – by staying off the ankle as much as possible, and avoiding activities that cause discomfort, it allows the ankle to rest and heal.

• Ice – ice packs or ice baths should be used immediately for approximately 20 minutes and then repeated every two or three hours during the day. Patients with conditions such as decreased sensitivity, diabetes, or vascular disease will want to talk to their doctor before applying ice to the ankle.

• Compression – swelling can be controlled by using an elastic bandage around the ankle to compress it. Do not wrap the elastic bandage too tight or it can block circulation to the ankle. It is best to start wrapping the ankle at the area furthest from the heart and working the way upward.

• Elevation – elevating the ankle above the heart can also help in reducing swelling, especially while a patient sleeps. Gravity is best for reducing swelling as it allows excess fluid to drain.

In addition to caring for the ankle with the above steps, patients can use over-the-counter pain medication if they are experiencing discomfort.

As with any injury, if the condition worsens or the patient feels an evaluation from a doctor is necessary, call Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty.

Are you dealing with a sports injury?

The team at Sports, Occupational, and Knee Surgery is here to help! Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty of San Antonio and Schertz, TX can provide diagnosis, treatment, and preventative solutions for patients who may be at risk for strains, sprains, and broken bones. Call us today at (210) 696-9000 to discuss your needs.