What should I do if my child's ankle is sprained?

time:2023-02-03 05:09:58source:monlittlebaby.com author:Baby bones
What should I do if my child's ankle is sprained?

Children are mischievous, often jumping dangerously from heights or injuring their ankles while exercising. An ankle sprain is one of the most common childhood injuries in the emergency room.

What is a "sprain"?

A sprain is when at least one tendon (the soft tissue that attaches around a joint and connects muscles) is stretched and partially or completely ruptured. The ankle (ankle joint) is made up of three bones, and they are held together by tendons that hold them firmly together to function. Tendons are the most important tissues to protect the joints, and they also limit the range of motion of the joints. Ankle injuries are most common in sports that require quick changes or jumps, such as basketball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. It is generally more common in children aged 10-19.

Should my child see a doctor with an ankle injury?

Many parents feel that the ankle injury will be fine for a few days, and there is no need to see a doctor. Although most ankle injuries are due to tendon strains, the joints themselves may also be injured, so it is necessary to see a doctor in time. In particular, the following manifestations:
  • Injured ankle cannot bear weight, such as: walking
  • Injured area and leg are bruised Significant and swollen
  • Pain on the inside of the ankle or foot
  • Significant deformity of the ankle or foot, etc.

How is an ankle sprain diagnosed?

The presence and degree of ankle sprain is determined by the physical examination and the degree of functional limitation, and is divided into three grades. First-degree sprain: mild swelling and pain in the ankle, no joint instability, the patient can still walk. This injury can heal itself. Second-degree sprains: More serious than first-degree sprains, there are partial ligaments torn, moderate pain and swelling of the ankle, limited joint movement, and bruising, which affects walking. Third-degree sprain: The ligaments around the ankle joint are completely torn, and the patient has severe pain, swelling, and bruising in the ankle. Joint instability, severely limited mobility, and inability to walk. 15% of children will have ankle fractures due to ankle injuries, and doctors will do X-rays when a fracture is suspected.

How is my child's ankle sprain treated?

A sprained ankle recovers quickly for a child. The main purpose of the initial treatment is to reduce inflammation, swelling and maintain joint range of motion. Rest, ice, wrapping the injured area, and elevating the affected area are the principles of treatment. Rest mainly refers to as little movement of the ankle as possible, such as walking, which can be assisted by crutches. The ice pack may take about 48 hours until the swelling subsides. The wrap is suitable for second- and third-degree sprains. You can try wrapping the injured ankle with an elastic bandage. Elevating the affected side while sitting or lying down can help reduce swelling. Oral anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can relieve pain and swelling and are safe to use in doses. Of course, those with fractures should be treated with a cast or surgery.

When can my child return to sports?

This requires a doctor's advice, especially for children with severe sprains. The doctor may also recommend that the child should rehabilitate the ankle before returning to sports.

Is a sprained ankle more likely to sprain again? How to prevent?

Yes, the sprained ankle is more prone to re-injury, especially within two months of the previous injury. Be sure to stretch and prepare carefully before exercising. Do not resume exercising ahead of schedule against your doctor's order. An ankle injury is to be taken seriously, sometimes a sprain and a fracture can be hard to tell apart, and there's no harm in having it checked by a doctor.
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