Ankle injuries are very common injuries that are treated by primary care doctors in Brooklyn, NY and across the world. There is a good chance that while playing or stepping on an uneven surface, your child sprained an ankle. The chances of getting a sprained ankle are even more likely during the summer months.
So we wanted to share four key facts about ankle sprains that you must keep in mind if your little one got or happens to get a sprained ankle. Before that, let’s start with understanding a sprained ankle.
What is an Ankle Sprain?
The ankle joint connects the foot and the lower leg and is held together by ligaments. Ligaments are tough tissues that keep the bones in place. An ankle sprain commonly happens when one or more ligaments in your child’s ankle joint tear or get overly stretched.
Sprained ankles can be caused by a direct injury or by sudden twisting of the joint. An unnatural twisting motion may happen to your child while playing sports, due to the uneven surface, or when the foot is planted awkwardly. With this little background, let’s get into the four key things you should know about ankle sprains.
When Should You Visit Walk-In Doctors for Your Child’s Sprained Ankle?
If a sprain in your child’s foot is not treated properly, it can lead to chronic pain and ankle instability. An ankle sprain may either cause injury to the outside area of the ankle or a more serious injury to the inside of the ankle. When an ankle gets injured with a sprain, tender injury or inflammation occurs. Fluid discharge from blood vessels into the soft tissues surrounding the joint.
If you find any of the following changes in your child, it’s always best to visit pediatric urgent care clinic for having an examination by a walk-in doctor.
- Swelling or bruising on the ankle or the foot
- Pain over the ankle joint
- Difficulty bearing weight on the ankle
- Trouble moving the foot or the ankle
How is an Ankle Sprain Diagnosed in a Child?
When you visit walk-in clinic, your family practice or primary care doctor will examine your child, check the movement and strength of the joint to determine if the injury requires urgent care. The ankle sprain is diagnosed and graded based on how much damage is done to the ligaments.
Grade I – This is a mild sprain where the patient will have a bit of swelling and tenderness without joint instability. The child can move and bear weight with minimal pain.
Grade II – This is a more severe injury where ligaments tear partly. The children with a sprained ankle will have moderate pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness.
Grade III – The most serious sprain injury where an ankle ligament tears completely. The child will feel severe pain, unable to move or bear weight.
Your child may need to get an x-ray or an MRI to examine the level of sprain and injury in more detail.
How to Treat a Sprained Ankle of a Child?
Sprains and strains take less time to heal in children. Getting proper treatment of your child’s sprained ankle from the best walk-in urgent care clinic may prevent chronic pain and help in healing quickly. If you follow your primary care doctor’s instructions and protect your child’s ankle well, you can heal sprained ankle within 4 to 6 weeks. However, the treatment of sprained ankle depends on the grade of the sprain.
For the grade I, use the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) formula just after the injury until you visit after hours clinic. Limit walking and bearing weight, ice the sprained ankle to minimize swelling, immobilize your injury by placing your injury in a splint, and keep your foot or injured area elevated. Swelling usually goes down with this early treatment.
Patients with grade II or III sprains generally need sustained support. An elastic bandage, a brace or cast is needed to immobilize the ankle and protect the joint of your child. Your walk-in urgent care doctor will prescribe medications and exercise routines to strengthen muscles, and increase flexibility. If your child’s sprain does not heal with other treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair or replace a torn ligament.
Is a Rehabilitation Plan Necessary for Your Child?
Wondering when your child can be fully recovered or return to sports? Or thinking what can you do prevent re-injury? It is essential to follow a rehabilitation plan established by your primary care doctor. Rehabilitation is vital in preventing chronic instability and recurrent injury. It helps your child’s ankle to stay in shape with good muscle balance, strength, and flexibility.
Do you need pediatric urgent care in Sunset Park and looking for the best walk-in clinic? Visit Artisans of Medicine today! With advanced medical equipment and rich experience, our team of well-qualified doctors can promptly evaluate and treat ankle sprains of all grade in your child.