While foot and ankle injuries are generally less serious than something such as a head or spinal injury, walking on a foot or ankle injury can be painful and at times impossible. Because of that, getting early treatment for a foot or ankle injury is important. While each foot or ankle injury is unique, there are several indicators that your injury may require more than just home treatment, and that you should see a medical professional.
A Bone is Sticking Out or the Foot is Deformed
While you likely know you need to see a doctor right away if any of your foot or ankle bones are sticking out, you might be more reluctant to visit a doctor if the foot just looks slightly deformed or out-of-place. If your ankle, toe, or another part of your foot is bent at an unnatural angle, you likely have at least a severe sprain, and you may have a fracture.
X-rays can help determine the severity of the injury. If it is a fracture, and there is only one broken bone, the injury might be able to be treated without surgery if the broken bone is not out-of-place. Instead, your doctor will probably put the foot and ankle in a brace or a cast, which will allow the ankle to stabilize. You will likely need to stay off the ankle while it heals. For more severe ankle and foot fractures, surgery might be required. Once your doctor determines it is safe to start using your ankle or foot, you may need physical therapy.
There Are Signs of Infection or Other Serious Complications
One sign of a serious issue is if there is an open wound which has pus coming out of it. Signs of an infection include redness, warmth, or tenderness around the injury area. Of course, any ankle injury is likely to result in some tenderness around the injury, but if the tenderness gets worse, there might be an infection. If you get a fever over 100 F, particularly when accompanied by these symptoms, your injury may have become infected. See a doctor if you have experienced any of these symptoms with your foot or ankle injury.
While pain and swelling are common around an ankle injury, if the pain and swelling has traveled up to your leg or groin, you might have a blood clot. If this is the case, you should see a doctor right away to avoid further complications.
You Have Trouble Putting Weight on Your Foot or Ankle
Even a minor sprain can make it painful to walk or stand, but if the pain makes it impossible to walk or put any weight on the ankle, you should visit a doctor. If your ankle is unstable or feels a floppy when you put weight on it, you should also seek the expertise of a doctor or other medical professional.
For less severe ankle injuries, you may not need to visit a doctor. RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) might be enough. Of course, if you find your ankle is getting worse or is not improving after a few days, you should see a doctor. Excessive swelling or bruising or swelling or bruising that does not improve after several days of RICE may also be indicators that you should see a doctor.
If you have suffered a foot or ankle injury because of someone else’s actions, contact us. We have personal injury lawyers for ankle and foot injuries. Our lawyers will help to make sure the responsible party is held accountable for the medical expenses and other costs associated with the injury.