There are times when unexpected things happen, like when you are trying a new gym routine, or exercise and you unexpectedly sprain your ankle, resulting in pain and inflammation. According to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, a sprained ankle is the most common injury that affects people of all ages. It occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle exceed their range of motion and become stretched or torn.

Visiting a New Orleans orthopedic surgeon to provide immediate attention to your sprained ankle can help in speeding your recovery and relieving the pain. To help manage your condition, we have put together some tips for treating a sprained ankle.

The initial step is to check for signs of a sprain; these include:
• Abrupt, sharp pain that causes you to instantly stop from moving around or makes you take the weight off the ankle when moving;
• Pain that is located on the spot where the injured ligament is located;
• Bruising and inflammation on the location of the strain;
• Inability to perform certain ankle movements.

If the symptoms are visible, you have to make sure that the injured ankle remains protected. Don’t make too many movements and protect it from any sort of activity by restraining it with a brace or splint. Immobilizing your ankle helps in preventing further injury and decreases the amount of swelling and inflammation.

According to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, not protecting the sprained area will slow your recovery and make the initial recovery phase more difficult.

Follow the R.I.C.E Treatment Protocol
Rest: Make sure your ankle is being rested by avoiding activities that would cause pain to the affected area. By resting, you are allowing your ankle to release the stress and pressure of the injured joint while letting the swelling subside. For faster recovery, you can also perform simple range-of-motion movements with your ankle, as long as it is not painful.

Ice: Applying ice to your sprained ankle reduces pain and inflammation. This should be done every one to two hours for 15 to 20 minutes. When you put ice on your ankle, be sure to use a cloth to prevent an ice burn.

Compression: You can wrap a simple elastic bandage around your ankle for a very light compression to diminish the swelling, lessen the pain and stabilize the joint. Be sure to loosen or remove the bandage before going to bed.

Elevation: Elevating your ankle will also help to reduce swelling and pain. You can pile up some pillows beneath your ankle while lying down, make sure to elevate your ankle above the level of your heart.

You can also decrease your pain using creams or over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen.

After several days of following the R.I.C.E treatment protocol, your sprained ankle will most likely be healed, allowing you to continue with your regular activities. If the extent of your sprain ranges from moderate to severe, then you should continue doing these treatment steps for several weeks or more.

Visit your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon if any of the following occurs:
• The joint is obviously deformed;
• The person who is injured is pale or has an unsteady pulse rate;
• The person is experiencing tingling sensations, paralysis or extreme pain.

If these scenarios relate to you, you should contact your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon for immediate attention and proper treatment. We will promptly examine your injury and provide an appropriate course of action to relieve your discomfort.

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