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First Aid & Emergencies

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Ankle Sprain Treatment

Go to the emergency room if: Pain, bruising, or swelling is severe, the ankle looks deformed or seems dislocated, or the person can't put any weight on the ankle.

1. Control Swelling

  • Remove ankle bracelets or toe rings.

Do RICE therapy:

  • Rest the ankle. Use crutches if necessary.
  • Ice the ankle for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day for the first 2 days.
  • Compress by wrapping the ankle lightly -- not tightly -- with an Ace bandage or elastic ankle brace.
  • Elevate the ankle above heart level for the first 48 hours.

2. Manage Pain and Inflammation

  • Take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or aspirin for pain. But check with your doctor first if you have any medical conditions or take any other medicines.

 

3. See a Health Care Provider

  • Make an appointment as soon as possible for any ankle sprain, mild or severe. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 18 unless told to do so by a doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 19, 2013

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