Management of Ankle and Foot Injury
It is common to get injured over the ankle or foot, while running, sport activities, cleaning lawns or other activities.
Steps to be Done
- See if the person is able to move the affected portions without much pain. If no, this may be a fracture and you need to run to a doctor. If yes, begin with first aid.
- Any bleeding needs to be arrested urgently. You may use ice packs for this.
- Clean the visible wounds. You may quickly put the affected part under the tap, if possible, or else soak cotton balls in clean water and rub over the wounds. This quick intervention would prevent all dirt and foreign materials from entering the wound, and minimize chances of infection.
- Dress up the wounds using antiseptic or antibiotic creams, cotton rolls and gauges.
- If the wound is contaminated with mud, anti tetanus toxoid (vaccine) may be considered. Pain relievers may be given.
- See a doctor if needed.
For Sprains and Swellings
Let the home treatment comprise of RICE where:
- R is rest
- I is applying cold compress over it by putting ice packs etc. This is to arrest any bleeding, internal or external.
- C is compression. You may just bandage the wound properly.
- E is elevation. Elevating or raising the affected foot would be better to prevent any risk of bleeding.
Be observant.There are certain signs to look for that may imply that it is more than an ordinary wound.
What to Look For?
Is there any swelling in the affected area? if yes, this should reduce with time. If it is not, there is a possibility of a fracture or some vessel rupture causing internal bleeding.
Lightly touch the affected leg with your hand. If you note too much of pain at any particular point, there may be some hidden injury at that point. It would be good to go for an X-ray for rule it out.
Make the patient move his joints and look for any joint pain. Movements may be little painful at the moment due to the impact of the trauma, however, if any joint pain persists for more than 48 hours, go for a check up.
Any numbness or tingling on the affected limb? This implies nerve damage, which is usually temporary and gets better with time. However, a doctor’s check up is better in such situations.
Observe his range of motion, especially around the joints. It is natural to be less at the moment due to pain. However, if you feel the range of motions are much reduced, it would be necessary to rule out fractures.
The above management is applicable to wounds of leg, hands, elbows and other parts of the body, as well.