One of the most common injuries, a sprained ankle often causes immediate pain and swelling. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, James Y. Lee, here at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.
When you sprain your ankle, you may find it hard to walk or put weight on your foot. While icing your ankle and elevating it may offer some relief, you should first seek medical treatment. Here are five reasons why you want to visit our urgent care specialist for a sprained ankle.
1. You’ll find out if it’s sprained or broken.
After you’ve twisted or rolled your ankle, it’s hard to know if you’ve endured a sprain, a torn ligament, or a broken bone. The ligaments in your ankle may stretch to the point of being painful, or in severe cases, your ligament can tear partially or all the way through. It can be hard to tell the difference between pain from an ankle sprain, a ligament tear, or a bone fracture.
When you come to see us, Dr. Lee carefully examines your ankle, takes X-rays if needed, and gives you an accurate diagnosis. Then he provides an effective treatment plan so you can fully recover from your ankle injury as quickly as possible.
2. Urgent care offers faster service than an emergency room.
The emergency room is for life-threatening situations, while urgent care is for injuries or conditions that require prompt attention, but are not life-threatening. When you choose to visit Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care instead of the emergency room, you can receive faster care for your sprained ankle, since you won’t be waiting behind other patients with critical medical conditions.
3. Treating a sprained ankle can prevent chronic ankle problems.
While ankle sprains are common, they’re not always minor enough to treat at home with ice, elevation, rest, and pain medications. And if you sprained the same ankle in the past, or you suffer a severe sprain, seeking prompt medical care may help prevent chronic ankle problems. If you only attempt self-care for your sprained ankle, you could end up with arthritis, joint pain, and ankle instability further down the road.
4. You’ll learn rehabilitation exercises to strengthen your ankle after a sprain.
Even if your ankle sprain is minor, Dr. Lee can advise you how to best rehabilitate the joint as you heal. He may recommend exercises that help stretch and strengthen your muscles and increase stability. Rehabilitation exercises can help you avoid a repeat injury in the future.
5. You may need a cast, brace, or crutches for your ankle sprain.
Depending on the severity of your ankle injury, and whether or not you’re able to put weight on your foot, you may need more support than an over-the-counter elastic bandage can provide. Dr. Lee can recommend the best type of support for your ankle sprain, such as crutches or a walking cast, so your ligaments can heal properly.
For the best outcome and full recovery, an ankle sprain needs timely, professional medical care. Since sprained ankles are such a common injury, you may be inclined to dismiss yours as something you can take care of yourself. While that may be true, it’s best to first visit Dr. Lee, an urgent care specialist with expert training in musculoskeletal conditions, so you can receive the most accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.
If you sprain your ankle, call the office to let us know you’re on your way for an exam, or click the “book online” button to request the next available appointment time.