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Ankle Sprain

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When to Call a Doctor

See your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Your foot or leg bends at an abnormal angle.
  • You feel severe pain.
  • Your foot is cool or pale or changes color.
  • You feel numbness or tingling in your foot or toes that lasts after the initial injury.
  • You can't move your ankle.

You should see your doctor after an ankle injury if you notice any of the following:

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  • You heard a popping sound at the time you sprained your ankle.
  • You have moderate pain or severe swelling or bruising around your ankle.
  • You can't walk or put weight on your affected foot, or your ankle feels unstable.
  • You have redness, swelling, or pain in your leg or groin. These can be signs of a blood clot.
  • You have no improvement in your ankle after 1 week.
  • Your swelling and bruising last more than 2 weeks.

Also be sure to contact your doctor if you have a cast or splint around your ankle that feels too tight. If the cast hurts, pinches, or feels like it is digging into your skin, it may be too tight. If your foot feels numb or your skin feels cool, call your doctor immediately.

If your pain is mild and you are able to put some weight on your foot, you may follow the recommendations in the Treatment Overview and Home Treatment sections of this topic. Initial treatment and rehabilitation exercises ensure that your ankle heals properly. If treatment recommendations are not followed, your ankle may stay weak and unstable.

Who to see

For evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of an ankle sprain, you may see:

For further treatment, you may be referred to:


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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