What To Do Next After You Roll Your Ankle?

by Sep 26, 2019

It was a gorgeous sunny day, and while you were talking to your friend you unexpectedly missed the bottom step and ‘rolled’ your ankle. This is the common story we hear all the time. 

What is a fractured ankle? 

The two bones in your lower leg are called the tibia and fibula. A fracture may involve one or both of these bones and will vary in size. 

Do I get an x-ray?

When in doubt you should always get an x-ray. We typically use the following rules when deciding to x-ray an ankle:

1) Are you unable to weight bear after the injury.

2) Are you tender over in the bony prominence on the inside or outside of the  Ankle.

3) Are you tender over the base of the 5th metatarsal (bump on the outside of the foot) or the navicular (bump on in the insider at the arch of the foot). 

If yes to any of these, then you should have an x-ray. 

WiSE Radiology offers bulk-billed X-ray and CT with a valid referral from your GP/Specialist. These results will be provided to your referring doctor.  No facility fee applies in these circumstances. 

What next? 

The Walk in Specialist Emergency Clinic provides on the spot assessment by our emergency doctors. They may determine that you require Imaging. WiSE has on-site X-ray, CT and Ultrasound with immediate results so they can treat you on the spot. Injuries may require plastering, camboots or crutches. WiSE offers these services on-site. 

Some WiSE presentations may require admission to hospital or referral to another specialist for immediate review. In these instances, our Wise Specialist Emergency Doctors will work closely with our network of acute specialist doctors such as an Orthopaedic Surgeon and/or Physiotherapists to coordinate your care and optimise your health outcomes.

Not so fast now

It’s common to feel stiff, sore, weak and unstable following the removal of the cast or boot. To avoid this, we have outlined some basic exercises that you can try at home. However you should still follow-up with your physiotherapist for further examination. 

  1. Ankle Alphabets – trace the alphabet with your ankle while sitting.
  • Calf raises – While holding onto the wall, gentle raise onto your toes.
  • Single leg balance: You will need to work on your balance following your injury in the aim of re-training the ligaments to stabilise your ankle.

Reece Jones
Principal Physiotherapist
Set in Motion Physiotherapy

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