Finding the Ankle Treatment You Need in Kansas City
We may never fully appreciate just how much our ankles do until something causes them pain.
An ankle sprain, a fracture, or other injuries can make for a very challenging time. And while some cases can be mild enough to treat at home, you don’t want to underestimate the consequences that an improperly healed ankle can have on your future comfort and stability.
Whenever you may need an expert in ankle treatment, Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Centers is here to serve the Kansas City area. We will always be happy to guide patients down the best paths of recovery, whether the injury seems mild or severe.
When Should I See a Podiatrist About My Ankle Injury?
First thing’s first: Before you even consider the scope of your ankle injury and whether to seek professional help, stop whatever you are doing and take the weight off the ankle right away.
Do not try to “push through” your ankle pain or “walk it off.” Any further stress you place on your ankle at this time can cause further damage and complications.
As soon as you are able, begin RICE therapy on your ankle. RICE stands for:
- Rest. Keep weight off the ankle as much as possible.
- Ice. Apply a lightly wrapped cold pack to the area (never let it directly touch the skin!) for 20-30 minutes, 4 times per day.
- Compression. Wrap the ankle well in a compressive wrap or bandage. Feel free to skip this step if you do not feel confident in your wrapping abilities, or do not have someone who can do it effectively for you.
- Elevation. Keep the ankle above the level of your heart as often as you can whenever you are sitting or lying down.
Also, as soon as you are able, give us a call! Even if you feel you only have a mild injury, it helps us to know what has happened. That way, we can recommend whether you should come in for evaluation now or keep a record of your injury in case complications do arise in the future.
We understand, though, that not everyone may call us every time their ankle hurts; so here are some guidelines on when you should absolutely contact us:
- You are not sure whether you have broken your ankle or badly sprained it. Frankly, whether it’s a fracture or a severe sprain does not matter at the time of injury. If you feel it may be either, you’re clearly in need of professional treatment!
- Your ankle is extremely bruised and/or swollen.
- You are unable to bear any weight on the foot without severe pain. And you should not try this more than once.
- You do not feel any improvement after the first 48 hours. Especially if you have followed RICE therapy through this time.
Why Proper Ankle Treatment Matters
Unfortunately, many people may not approach recovery from an ankle sprain or other injury properly. They may start placing weight on the affected ankle too soon or try to start up activities as normal after several weeks of being mostly off their feet, placing too much stress on the area.
The problem with improper healing is that the ankle is a complex joint. It must move in a variety of different ways to maintain our mobility and stability.
Even what you may consider being a relatively mild injury, if not cared for properly, can increase the risk of the ankle becoming more imbalanced or unstable after it feels better. That instability can increase the risk of further injury, which can lead to further instability. It can become a real downward spiral.
Additionally, the more trauma your ankle experiences, the higher the chance of developing arthritis within the joint later in life. Keeping your ankle injuries to a minimum, and properly treating those that do happen, can make a real difference to your future comfort and mobility.
How We Help Protect Ankles
Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Centers live by its name. We want to ensure you receive treatment that fully addresses your problem, as well as reduces your risk of future complications.
We will take the time to fully examine your ankle condition, regardless of how mild or severe it may be. Just because you are not inconsiderable pain (and we are always glad when you are not), does not always mean more damage has been sustained by the ankle and surrounding ligaments than anticipated. If necessary, we may conduct an imaging test to get a closer look.
Depending on the condition and its severity, we will recommend a course of treatment to help you recover both as quickly and as safely as possible. Elements of a treatment plan may include:
- Further rest and avoidance of weight-bearing. Whenever possible, we will work with you to help you keep active in ways that do not place further stress or risk on your ankle as it heals.
- Bracing or taping the ankle for additional support.
- Immobilization of the ankle in a cast or walking boot, if necessary.
- Medications to address pain and inflammation.
- Rehabilitative stretches or exercises to help condition the ankle and gradually ease back into activity.
In rare instances, surgery may be recommended to provide full relief. If this is the case, we will fully discuss all your options with you so you can make your best-informed decision on how you wish to move forward.
It is very important to follow all instructions as provided throughout the timeframe of your recovery. Failure to do so can increase your risk of reinjury or other complications.
The Best in Ankle Care for Kansas City and Beyond
Never let ankle pain or an ankle injury go untreated any longer than it should. Always feel free to contact us whenever you have any concerns about your ankle health, or wish to schedule an appointment at any of our six area offices.
Call us at (816) 455-1155 or fill out our online contact form to take the first steps toward faster, better recovery.