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.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Managing Ankle and Foot Injury

  1. Ed

    Snap/thumbing sensation including noise from knee
    (coming from top of the knee cap coupled with slight pain)
    Pain on right side when pressure is exerted i.e. up or down stairs
    Pain when kneeling (knee cap)- not enough bend as well

    Had right knee replacement Oct 2012 and YES the excruciating pain is gone, at least, for the most part. Experiencing two issues… 1st.- Pain on right side of knee when exerting pressure i.e. up stairs/down stairs, not every time, happens unexpectedly and the knee gives way. Went to my orthopedic doctor and he states I have a scar that develop inside the knee in the area known as the gutter and that arthroscopic surgery is recommended. I asked if pictures i.e.HD x-ray or MRI can confirm his opinion? In short he stated NO…!!! My thought is that I don’t think that is true considering today’s technology and capabilities. Any thoughts or experience in this type of situation? The 2nd. – From what started as a click in 2012/2013 has now developed into a snapping/clunking of the knee coupled with the noise and slight pain on the top of the knee cap when walking or after a walk. NOT a click but a snap/clunking that I undoubtedly feel up through my leg and definitely hear. It occurs when I walk – stretching/moving the leg forward and when bending back the leg in either in and out step I feel the snap/clunking! It is bothersome to say the least! Also have the grumbling sound and feel at night when I move or stretch my leg out in bed. It drives me crazy. Something, I believe, is not aligned correctly. Just like a car wheel alignment if not done right it will cause, eventually, EARLY wear on tires and may effect front end mechanical parts! I asked my doctor and was told performing surgery may not correct the issue. Guess what, my confident level has dropped considerably. Any advise beside seeing another doctor and getting a second opinion? Appreciate any constructive comments.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Your estimate is quite right. This does appear to be an alignment problem.

      Ideally, after joint replacements, movements are very smooth, noiseless and without friction.

      Just as in a car, such problems require mechanical interventions. The only corrective option is to go for arthroscopy guided procedure.


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