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How to Care for a Sprained Ankle

After you’ve been sent home with a sprained ankle diagnosis, there’s little the doctor can do until your follow-up appointment. How quickly you heal is truly up to you. Learn how to care for your injury at home and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

How to care for a sprained ankle

Follow Doctor’s Orders

Whether you see your primary care physician, orthopedic surgeon, or an emergency room doctor, you’ll go home with suggestions to help heal your particular ankle strain. Read through the papers and be sure to heed your doctor’s advice.


Your ankle doesn’t care how busy you are. You have an injury that’s swollen and will not begin to heal until the swelling desists. It’s essential you take the time to rest your leg. If you don’t, you run the risk of either elongating your recovery or causing more damage to the ankle.


While you’re resting, ice the ankle. Ice reduces swelling, encouraging your ankle to begin the healing process. Icing your ankle isn’t a one-time event. You’ll need to apply cold to the ankle over the first 24 hours in a fairly consistent manner. A routine of 10 to 15 minutes on and 10 to 15 minutes off is important when using ice.


You don’t realize how much your limbs are affected by gravity until you suffer a sprain. When you elevate the leg above the heart, you’re essentially giving the joint a mock, anti-gravity state, allowing the injury to focus on healing instead of fighting swollen pressure.


Internal injuries, like an ankle sprain, react well to soaking. Although the act of soaking in Epsom salts doesn’t directly heal, water therapy is very calming. Your ankle will feel good, hence so will you.

Stability Accessories

If your doctor sent you home with a splint, brace, crutches, or a cane, use them. Their purpose is to take pressure off the ankle, while still encouraging you to put the leg in motion. Both are vital pieces to the healing puzzle.

The professionals at OrthoAtlanta are specialists in orthopedic and sports medicine. With fourteen locations throughout the greater Atlanta area you’ll always find the care you need, right around the corner. Some locations even offer weeknight and Saturday morning hours. OrthoAtlanta staffs only highly trained and certified physicians and therapists to guide you back to work or the field after a significant joint injury. Call 770-953-6929 to confirm that they accept your insurance. Book your appointment while on the phone, or through their online scheduling platform. Visit the OrthoAtlanta website at OrthoAtlanta.com to learn more about how OrthoAtlanta can help you through an accidental injury, unexpected surgery, or planned procedure.

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