Monday, July 21, 2008

Health Tip: Caring for a Sprain

(HeathDay News) -- There's a good chance that while playing or stepping on an uneven surface, you will sprain your ankle. More than 25,000 people do it every day, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Depending on how severe the sprain is, your ankle might swell and hurt too much to stand on it. You might even have felt a "pop" when the injury happened.

Tell your doctor what you were doing when you sprained your ankle. An X-ray may be necessary to make sure no bones are broken.

For a minor sprain, rest your ankle by not walking on it, ice it to keep the swelling down, use compressive bandages to support your injury, and elevate your ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.

For severe ankle sprains, your doctor may treat you with a short leg cast for up to three weeks or a cast-brace.

And for people who sprain an ankle repeatedly, there's also the possibility of surgical repair to tighten the ligaments.

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