Parents never know when they or one of their children might slip over and break their ankle. It’s a painful experience, but one that many people will face at some point during their lives. Of course, if that ever happens, individuals will have to visit the hospital as soon as possible. However, there are lots of other things anyone can do before reaching the medical centre that might benefit the injured person. With that in mind, take a read through the step by step guide on this page and try to remember the information. Most of this advice will apply to children or adults who break any bone, not just their ankle.
Step 1: Stop any bleeding and support the injury
The first thing people need to do involves assessing the situation and checking for wounds. Sometimes people will break the skin when their ankle suffers an injury. If that’s happened, it’s important to find a dressing and apply as much pressure as possible to stem the bleeding. T-shirts will work well if there isn’t a dressing available at the time. If there isn’t any bleeding, it’s wise to place an ice pack over the joint to reduce any swelling. Bags of vegetables out of any freezer will work well if ice isn’t available. Just be sure to wrap anything the person uses in a tea towel to avoid causing frostbite to the skin.
Step 2: Refrain from eating anything before reaching the hospital
Next up, it’s critical that people with suspected broken ankles abstain from consuming any food or drink before they arrive at the hospital. There are a couple of reasons for that, but the most important one relates to that person undergoing an operation. The doctors might have to knock the patient out to perform surgery, and so it’s important they don’t have any food in their systems. That is because:
- The body’s reflexes get temporarily stopped under anaesthetic
- There is a high risk of vomiting or regurgitation.
The nurses at the hospital will let the patient know when it is okay for them to eat some food. Indeed, they’ll probably provide it in most instances if surgery isn’t going to happen.
Step 3: Take photographs of the injury and location
There are three reasons people who break their ankle should take pictures straight away. Firstly, the images could help doctors to gain a better understanding of the injury and how it happened. With a bit of luck, that will assist them in making better decisions when it comes to treating the broken bone. Secondly, in some countries, health insurance companies might want to see the condition of the ankle before paying for medical costs. Thirdly, most people will want to get some evidence in case they decide to make a personal injury claim. That sometimes happens if the accident occurred at a place of business or if someone else caused the damage. So, people should take a snap of:
- The ankle
- The location
- Anything that caused the injury
Step 4: Consume pain medication and rest
In most situations, the doctors at the hospital will provide lots of pain medication after someone breaks their ankle. Regardless of what people might think about drugs, it’s wise to take the pills because there is going to be a lot of painful swelling. Professionals should also prescribe anti-inflammatory tablets too. Just be sure to stick to the recommended dosage and take them for as long as the doctor advised. People with broken ankles will also have to rest their leg for at least a couple of weeks. That means it’s time to call the workplace or school and let them know the individual isn’t going to be around for a while. Whatever happens, just follow the guidance issued by the medical professionals. They see injures of that nature every single day, and so they are the ones best placed to help the patient recover fast.
Hopefully, doctors at the hospital will treat the patient and send them home within a couple of days. That said, in some instances, it can take a couple of weeks. Surgery should only happen in the most extreme cases. In many instances, nurses will just apply a cast to the injured limb and let it heal naturally. So, to recap, anyone with a suspected broken ankle should try to reduce the swelling, refrain from eating, and get some photographic evidence. After that, those individuals just need to follow any advice given by doctors or nurses at the hospital.