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Grand Junction, CO
A 17-year-old female asked:

Should i go to an orthopeadic surgeon and/or a physical therapist? i'm a 15 year old girl and i skateboard quite often and usually when i skate i end up landing on my left ankle in awkward positions and sprain or roll my ankle all the time. most of the ti

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Howard Fox
Podiatry 42 years experience
I : I agree with your physical therapist in that you should definitely have your ankle x-rayed. If you're 15, chances are you still have active growth plates in your ankle bones, and growth plates are extremely fragile, much more so than "adult" bone, and are fractured much more easily than "adult" bone. Being that ankle ligaments in a 15 year old are exceedingly strong, and active growth plates are exceedingly weak, any injury would fracture a growth plate well before any ligament can get sprained or even torn. So an x-ray is a must, and you should stay off your foot until you know exactly what's going on down there. I disagree with your physical therapist in that you should get physical therapy regardless of your diagnosis, though. If you have a fracture, the last thing you should do is put your ankle through physical therapy. It needs rest, and perhaps even a cast. Most growth plate fractures are minor and heal quickly, and there is usually no need for a course of physical therapy afterward. Some growth plate injuries (rarely) are very significant, and can even stop the further growth of the bone. Treatment following such a severe injury would most definitely benefit from a course of physical therapy, after the initial healing is over. I would recommend you either seek the services of a podiatrist or a foot & ankle orthopedist. Good luck!

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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