How is sprained ankle diagnosed?

Diagnosis of sprained ankle. In case your situation is mild, which means you can move with your injured foot, your doctor will do a physical examination for assessment. He or she will check for points of tenderness at your foot; moving your foot in various ways to check the range of motion.

If your situation is severe, the following imaging tests may be needed to check if your bone is broken or tissues are damaged:
• X-ray
X-ray is often a good way to check your bones, but is less effective in visualizing soft tissues. Tiny cracks may not show up in an early x-ray check as well.
Bone scan
A small amount of radioactive substance will be injected to an intravenous line. Damaged areas will show up as bright spots that it is good to detect stress fractures.
• Computerized tomography (CT) scans
CT scans take x-rays from different angles for a detailed look at the bones of the joint and internal structures.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI uses radio waves and magnetic field to produce detailed outlook of the internal structure and soft tissue damages.
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Related Questions

Possible fractured/broken/sprained ankle, need better information on how to properly diagnose and a second opinion.?

Ankle injury. Ankle injuries can be very painful whether the tendon or the bone is injured. If you have already had an xray feel free to upload to Healthtap with a consultation virtually. Most important is to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for proper healing. Read more...
Straight forward. The proper, not necessarily correct, diagnosis is made after a thorough exam, evaluation, history and systems review of the injured area. The diagnosis can then be confirmed by use of the many forms of imaging, like an x-ray. The treatment options will then be given and you then decide to accept the treatment plan or not. You are free to ask for and seek a second opinion, if you so desire. Read more...

Possible fractured/broken/sprained ankle, need better information on how to properly diagnose and a second opinion.?

It takes Practice.. The most important is a knowledge and familiarity withe the anatomy and function of the ankle. Secondly, enough experience and training to begin a systematic review of the area. For the most part, attention must be brought to swelling, ichymosis, pain, structural damage, sensory deficit, vascular status, range of motion, muscle strength, tissue disruption and x-ray results. Read more...

How to tape a sprained ankle?

Try U-tube. Can't explain or demonstrate here. Try u-tube or see a sports trainer to demo this to you. Read more...
Can be difficult. Depends on which part your are trying to stabilize. Athletic tape, kinesiotape/rock tape are best. I recommend mcconnell taping. There are many videos online but a good athletic trainer, primary care sports med doctor, or certified kinesiotaper can show you as well. Read more...
See video. Here is one of many youtube videos on subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3pyqt9ftna easier if someone does it for you. Read more...
Home taping... You're better off using an otc brace or splint that trying to tape yourself up at home. It's not as easy as the professional trainers make it look. You could also just see a podiatrist - many of us stock simple braces for simple sprains. Read more...
Ankle taping. Just don't go circumferential, which can cause vascular or nerve embarrassment. Go above and below the joint. Read more...

I think I have a sprained ankle?

Thank you. Thank you for letting us know. If you get worse or if unsure then go see your doctor. Read more...
Ankle sprain. May respond to ice,rest,elevation and otc analgesics. But diagnosis needs to be estabilished prior to treatment. Read more...
Home treatment. Home treatment for an ankle sprain consists of resting the extremity, icing it, using an ace wrap type bandage to compress the area, and elevate the leg. The goal is to minimize the swelling and promote healing. Additionally, ibuprofen or naproxen should be used for its anti-inflammatory affects. If you have any concerns or do not have improvement, see your doctor for further evaluation. Read more...
Immobilization, ice. immobilation ice rest and perhaps xrray. Read more...
See specialist. See an orthopedic doctor, who can get xrays, to look for a fracture, and then prescribe the appropriate treatment. Read more...

How painful is a sprained ankle?

That differs... Everyone has a different pain threshold so there is really no "scale" of pain to extent of injury ratio. Read more...
Depends. There can be minimal pain or really severe pain depending how badly the ankle is sprained and how much damage has been caused to the ligament. Read more...

How can I help my sprained ankle?

Depends. How long ago was it, how did it occur, how bad was it. Usually it will respond to rest, ice, compression, elevation. Read more...
Many possibilities. R.I.C.E. Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Immobilization with a splint or brace may be of benefit in the initial phase of recovery. Oral anti-inflammatory medication may help with the pain and swelling. Once improved, mobilization and physical therapy can help restore strength and function. Healing times may vary. Read more...

Is a sprained ankle an emergency?

Depends. If you can not walk on it and there is a huge amount of swelling then yes it should be seen ASAP. Read more...

What to do with my sprained ankle?

Foot pain. Try resting it (for 1-2 weeks), icing, compressing wraps or bracing, and elevating your rolled ankle. Take otc antiinflammatory drugs like advil (ibuprofen) or Motrin as directed by the manufacturer to help. If clicking or feeling of ripping or instability, get it checked out by a foot doctor (podiatrist). Hope this was helpful, if so please vote for me. Thanks! Read more...
"RICE" Rest, ice, compression and elevation. But not for more than 48 hours. If your pain and swelling persists after that, you need to be seen by a doctor. A word of caution with the advil: if you have a fracture, continually taking anti-inflammatory medication will delay fracture healing. It's ok to take 1 or 2 every other day or so, but until you know you don't have a fracture, don't load up on them. Read more...