A complete medical evaluation helps your doctor diagnose your particular problem. To speed recovery, you may be asked to keep your injured foot elevated above heart level. be sure to follow your doctor’s advice.
Your Doctor’s Evaluation
A medical history, physical examination and x-rays allow your doctor to determine the nature and extent of your ankle injury.
Your role: home care
Home care includes using ice packs as directed, taking medications as needed and keeping your injured ankle elevated above heart level when possible. Elevating your ankle can decrease swelling, reduce pain and speed healing.
To reduce pain and swelling caused by the effects of gravity, the foot needs to be elevated several inches above heart level. Four or five pillows placed under the foot may do the trick. To prevent or reduce swelling, ice packs may be recommended for the first 24 hours or longer. Pain medications or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed if necessary.
Letting the foot dangle over a chair or the edge of the bed increases the pain and swelling, due to the effect of gravity. Healing is delayed by excessive fluid that accumulates in the tissues.
Note: Only elevation above the level of the heart works, resting the ankle on a foot stool is not enough.