Ankle Sprain

ExitCare ImageAn ankle sprain is an injury to the strong, fibrous tissues (ligaments) that hold your ankle bones together.


  • Put ice on your ankle for 1–2 days or as told by your doctor.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes at a time, every 2 hours while you are awake.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Raise (elevate) your injured ankle above the level of your heart as much as possible for 2–3 days.

  • Use crutches if your doctor tells you to. Slowly put your own weight on the affected ankle. Use the crutches until you can walk without pain.

  • If you have a plaster splint:

  • Do not rest it on anything harder than a pillow for 24 hours.

  • Do not put weight on it.

  • Do not get it wet.

  • Take it off to shower or bathe.

  • If given, use an elastic wrap or support stocking for support. Take the wrap off if your toes lose feeling (numb), tingle, or turn cold or blue.

  • If you have an air splint:

  • Add or let out air to make it comfortable.

  • Take it off at night and to shower and bathe.

  • Wiggle your toes and move your ankle up and down often while you are wearing it.


  • Your toes lose feeling (numb) or turn blue.

  • You have severe pain that is increasing.

  • You have rapidly increasing bruising or puffiness (swelling).

  • Your toes feel very cold.

  • You lose feeling in your foot.

  • Your medicine does not help your pain.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.