Ankle Pain and Sprain

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Ankle pain is a very broad term for pain in one or both ankles. It can be caused by an array of problems including an ankle sprain, tendon or cartilage problems, infection, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or nerve injuries.

Most people treat their initial ankle pain at home by following RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (like an ace bandage) and Elevation (lifting the foot and ankle as often as you can above the level of the heart). It is best to seek immediate care when you suspect a broken bone or you have severe pain even when you are NOT bearing weight.

Call your doctor if:

  • Swelling does not go down within 2-3 days
  • You have symptoms of infection — the area becomes red, more painful, or warm, or you have a fever over 100°F
  • Pain produced from very little movement
  • The pain does not go away after several weeks
  • Other joints are also involved
  • You have a history of arthritis and are having new symptoms
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