Ankle Sprain Treatment in El Cajon, CA
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Ankle sprains are relatively common injuries that if left untreated may worsen with time or weaken the joint, so it is vulnerable to re-injury in the future. At East County Urgent Care, our experienced doctors offer comprehensive treatment for sprained ankles, so you can support your ankle’s healing process effectively and minimize the amount of time you spend in pain or having to miss out on your favorite physical activities.
What is RICE?
RICE is a common acronym that can be applied to a wide range of minor inflammatory injuries. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are all essential components to support your ankle as it heals. By resting the injured area, you are affording your body the time it needs to repair damaged tissue without putting additional strain on the joint.Ice and elevation help to relieve inflammation and pain. The cooling effect of the ice can reduce swelling and should be implemented approximately 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours in the first few days following your injury. Elevating the injured area above the heart will help reduce pain and swelling and it is recommended you do this whenever possible while recovering. Compression will help reduce swelling and will provide additional support for your ankle, should you need to put weight on it.
Do I really need to see a doctor?
Not all ankle sprains necessitate a visit with a physician. However, if the pain is significant or if you have previously injured the same ankle, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced doctor. At East County Urgent Care, we can provide in-depth analysis of your particular injury, so you understand how severe it is and what types of treatment options are available. For sprains that are especially painful, we can also perform x-rays to ensure that no fracture has occurred within the bones of the ankle. Your doctor will also be able to pinpoint whether you have suffered a lateral ankle sprain, low ankle sprain, medial ankle sprain, or high ankle sprain.
What will my treatment and recovery process look like?
Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, your treatment and recovery time could vary. Ankle sprains are graded on a scale of 1-3, with 1 being the least severe. A grade 1 sprain will likely require RICE and immobilization or support wraps for several days to a few weeks. A grade 2 sprain will take longer to heal, and your doctor will likely recommend a splint or other immobilization device. A grade 3 sprain is especially serious, and your doctor may recommend an air cast or specialized brace for several weeks in order to keep the ankle immobilized. Especially for patients who are very active or athletic, appropriately addressing an ankle sprain is essential to reducing the chance of re-injury. For young children who participate in team sports, the chance for injuring the same ankle again is high and if they have suffered too many injuries, they may need to discontinue playing their favorite sports.
If you have suffered an ankle sprain and would like an experienced physician to discuss your treatment options with you, contact East County Urgent Care in El Cajon, CA today or simply walk in to be seen by a physician 7 days a week.