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Hurt foot,swollen ankle,very painful

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
fell off the last two steps at work yesterday and rolled my foot and fell. it hurt for about a minute then stoped. Pain started lated in the evening, horrible in middle of the night. Today pain is bad and can not put pressure on it, even feeling aches further up leg. Hurts on the outer part where arch is and on other side on ankle. Slight swelling on ankle pain at a 7 on scale of 1-10.
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 19 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Of course it is difficult to make good recommendations in the absence of examining your ankle but I will give you some tips here to help you handle this.

What you most likely have going on is a moderate to severe ankle sprain. This is a very common injury when the ankle "rolls" and pulls the ligaments in the area and tears small blood vessels. When this happens, blood,and fluid in addition to inflammatory cells of the immune system flood into the injured area. This ultimately creates a progressive swelling.

Very important right now is to ice ice ice the area! Do this for 15 minute intervals 8 or 9 times today. Keep the leg elevated as much as possible as well. This will help the fluid get out of the ankle and keep it from pooling there as well.

You might purchase a soft ankle sleeve or ace wrap to wrap around the injured area. This helps give you some stability as well as helps to mobilize that fluid.

If by tomorrow you still cannot bear weight on the ankle I think you should obtain an xray to rule out a small fracture. These are rare but certainly do happen. If you feel interval improved tomorrow then you should start a regimen of heat therapy - warm soaks in Epsom salts, heated wraps and continued elevation of the leg.

These can be very painful - I suggest tylenol or ibuprofen for relief of the pain. Tylenol is 650 mg 4 times daily and Ibuprofen 800 mg three times per day. Over the counter ibuprofen generally comes in 200 mg tablets FYI.

Again I thank you for your question. I hope you found my response to be both helpful and adequate. Should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
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