Leg Injuries - Home Treatment
First aid for a suspected broken bone
- Control bleeding .
all anklets or rings . It may be hard to remove the jewelry if your leg or
foot swells. Swelling without the removal of jewelry can cause other serious
problems, such as compression of nerves or restriction of blood flow.
- Do not
attempt to straighten an injured leg.
- Splint the injured
leg to protect it from further injury. Loosen the wrap around the splint if
signs develop below the wrap that mean the wrap is too tight, such as
numbness, tingling, increased pain, swelling, or cool skin.
- If a
bone is sticking out of the skin, do not try to push it back into the skin.
Cover the area with a clean bandage.
Cast and splint care
If a cast or splint is
applied, it is important to keep it dry and try to move the uninjured parts of
your extremity as normally as possible to help maintain muscle strength and
tone. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to
care for your cast or splint.
Home treatment for a minor injury
If your injury does
not require an evaluation by a doctor, you may be able to use home
treatment to help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Rest and protect an
injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may
be causing your pain or soreness.
- Ice will
reduce pain and swelling. Apply
ice or cold packs immediately to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice
or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
- For the first 48 hours after an injury,
avoid things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot
packs, or alcoholic beverages.
- After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is
heat and begin
gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help
restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between
heat and cold treatments.
- Compression, or wrapping
the injured or sore area with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap), will
help decrease swelling. Don't wrap it too tightly, because this can cause more
swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight.
Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain,
coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage. Talk to your doctor if you think you need to use a wrap for longer than 48 to 72
hours; a more serious problem may be present.
- Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice
and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the
level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
- Remove all rings , anklets, or any other jewelry that goes around a leg. It will be
harder to remove the jewelry later if swelling
- Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and
encourage blood flow. Do not massage the injured area if it causes
- Use a crutch or a cane for the 24 to 48 hours after the
injury if it makes you more comfortable and supports the injured area. If you
feel you need to use a crutch or cane for more than 48 hours, discuss your
symptoms with your doctor.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco
products. Smoking slows healing because it decreases blood supply and delays
tissue repair. For more information, see the topic
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.