It can sometimes be tricky to tell the difference between a sprained or broken ankle – the symptoms are very similar, and both are very painful and will leave you off your feet for a while. Thankfully there are steps that can be taken to differentiate between the two injuries, and ensure that the appropriate treatment is received – both in terms of immediate medical attention, and the right aftercare such as physiotherapy.
How to Tell if Your Ankle is Sprained
The most immediate sign of a sprained ankle is severe swelling and bruising around the area following any kind of impact, trip or fall – especially if you heard a popping sound while the incident occurred. It will also be difficult, but not necessarily impossible, to put weight on the ankle while walking. You will also find that ankle is unusually stiff and inflexible, but the key driving force will be pain. If your ankle hurts around the soft tissue areas of the ankle but not on the bone, it will often be sprained.
How to Tell if Your Ankle is Broken
A broken ankle comes with many similar symptoms to a sprain. People often ask, “can I still walk on a broken ankle?” and the answer to that is yes – if only one bone has been broken or fractured it will be possible, albeit painful and uncomfortable, to place enough weight on it to walk. Other symptoms of a broken include including swelling and bruising, soreness on the bone when touched directly, and of course any visible sign of protrusion of the bone through the skin.
Treatment for a Sprained or Broken Ankle
Treating a sprained ankle is simple; just follow the RICE approach of Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Some kind of physiotherapy may still be advisable, however, so get in touch with us if you would like to know if you qualify for complimentary private treatment, or for aid with any necessary supplies that will aid your recovery. If the ankle is broken, a splint may be applied by a healthcare professional to allow the bones to knit together again correctly, but RICE will then be applied once more; crutches may also be advisable to reduce the impact of weight on the ankle while walking.
Physiotherapy for a Sprained or Broken Ankle
Physiotherapy following an injury that leaves you with a sprained or broken ankle is hugely important, and negates the need for surgery on the affected area. Physical therapy will strengthen and restore movement to the affected area, and ensure that you will not encounter permanent problems walking. Get in touch with us for more information on whether you may be entitled to free physiotherapy following a sprained or broken ankle.
Recovery Time for a Sprained or Broken Ankle
As with most matters pertaining to sprains vs. fractures in the foot area, the recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. A mild sprain will be as good as new in around 4 weeks, but you should be mobile long before that. A more severe sprain could take twice as long, however. A fracture will take a minimum of 6 weeks to repair, as the bones need to realign appropriately. Don’t forget that physiotherapy can shave some time off this, especially in the event of a sprain, and will also ensure that your ankle suffers no permanent damage.
Contact Us to Find Out if You Qualify for Free Private Treatment
Regardless of whether your ankle is sprained or broken, it will be a while before you are back to moving quite as freely before your injury. This is where Medical Expert come in – call us now on 020 3870 4868, and we will be able to fill you in on any private physiotherapists in your area that you are entitled to receive free treatment from. Don’t let a sprained or broken ankle ruin your quality of life; allow us to put you in touch with somebody that can help and you’ll be back on your feet in no time without the need for a surgeon’s knife.