For many kids, starting a new school year means starting new sports and activities that can lead to potential ankle injuries. A common ligament injury that happens to children during games or on the playground is a rolled ankle. A rolled ankle (also referred to as a sprained or twisted ankle) happens when an individual makes a rapid shifting movement while their foot is firmly planted, causing a stretch or tear in the ankle joint ligament.
Signs of a Rolled or Twisted Ankle
A sprained ankle causes pain at the site of the ligament tear and will begin to swell soon after the sprain occurs. Although most individuals are able to walk on a mild sprain, a more serious sprain will destabilize the ankle and make it hard to walk. This is because serious sprains result in stretched or torn ligaments on the outer side of the foot.
A rolled ankle also causes bruising, stiffness, and tenderness, especially when weight is put on the foot or ankle.
Caring for an Ankle Sprain
If you think your child has a rolled ankle, it is important to take him or her to a healthcare provider immediately, as sprains are difficult to differentiate from a fracture without an X-ray. If a medical professional determines that it is in fact a sprain, he or she will classify the sprain as a grade I, II, or III sprain and recommend appropriate care.
To care for a grade I or II sprain, doctors recommend following the RICE method:
- Rest the ankle and don’t walk or put weight on it
- Ice the area to reduce swelling
- Elevate the foot above the waist or heart
- Compress the ankle to support the injury and control swelling
Although grade I and grade II sprains require the same care, it is important to note that grade II sprains usually require more time to heal.
Grade III sprains can put a child at risk for permanent ankle instability if not properly cared for. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society states, “For severe ankle sprains, your doctor may consider treating you with a short leg cast for two to three weeks or a walking boot. People who sprain their ankle repeatedly may also need surgical repair to tighten their ligaments.”
Get Rolled Ankle Treatment at FastMed Urgent Care
If your child comes home from school with an injury that you think may be a rolled ankle, visit FastMed Urgent Care immediately.
Our healthcare professionals will examine your child’s ankle and recommend treatment that is appropriate for his or her specific injury. With our onsite X-ray machines, we can quickly determine if the ankle is rolled or broken.
Find FastMed Urgent Care in your neighborhood and get rolled ankle treatment that is fast, friendly, and affordable.
But don’t just take our word for it! Check out what Deborah had to say in this video about her experience at FastMed.