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5 Crucial Things to Look for in an Ankle Injury Doctor

May 24, 2022

If you're wondering why ankle injury doctors are in-demand in the medical field, you'd be surprised to know that sprained ankles are undoubtedly one of the most common sports injuries encountered by people of all ages and activity levels. Yes, it is true that if the sprained ankle is a very mild one, there is a great chance you will be able to manage your care in the comfort of your home.

Unfortunately, that gives a lot of people a false sense of security regarding their sprain. The truth is that there are some extremely good reasons you should always seek a professional evaluation from an ankle injury doctor directly, even if significant treatment interventions are not warranted in your case.

Ensuring your care is properly managed, even for a minor sprain, could help significantly reduce the risk of long-term issues.

An ankle injury doctor can help treat sprained ankles.

Do I Have a Sprained Ankle?

Ankle sprains could affect one or more ligaments that support and stabilize your ankle joint and range from mild to severe. (These are traditionally known as grade I through grade III, respectively).

If you have a grade II or grade III sprain, you probably don't need to read this article to have a good idea of what happened. You are probably already dealing with pretty severe pain, instability in your ankle joint, and a decent amount of bruising. Don't kid yourself—that's a serious injury, and you need medical attention ASAP.

Grade I sprains, on the other hand, could be more subtle. One or numerous ligaments have been overstretched but not torn in this instance. There's a decent chance you will still be able to put weight on your foot with just mild discomfort—and you might well be tempted to do so, particularly if you've been told to just "walk it off".

Don't give in to this temptation! If you are dealing with any pain, swelling, or tenderness after possibly twisting or hyperextending your ankle, stop what you're doing, start RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation), and give your ankle injury doctor a call.

The Long-Term Trouble with Ankle Sprains

Do you know the single biggest risk factor for getting an ankle sprain? It's whether you have already had an ankle sprain in the past.

As we said, relatively mild ankle sprains could often be treated successfully at home. That can be achieved through RICE and, when appropriate, rehabbing your ankle through physical therapy.

However, the proper steps must be taken in the proper order. You shouldn't go too hard too soon and risk re-aggravating your injury. Nor do you should leave your rehab incomplete, leading to an ankle that isn't as strong or flexible as before the sprain.

If you're experiencing extreme pain, it would be best to go to an ankle injury doctor immediately.

If your ankle cannot fully heal and recover, there's a greatly increased risk of recurring sprain. And the more sprains you wind up sustaining, the greater the likelihood that the joint would become chronically wobbly and unstable even after rehab. Eventually, your ankle might require a surgical repair to fix the damage.

Seek the Care of an Ankle Injury Doctor for Your Ankle Sprain

We understand how significant your activities are to your overall well-being and happiness. The last thing we wish to see is a very minor, one-time injury be your first step toward permanently reduced stability and mobility.

Never begin a treatment program for an ankle sprain without consulting with an ankle injury doctor. They have extensive experience diagnosing sprains and building custom treatment plans that take the severity of the injury and your lifestyle goals into account.

What to Look for in an Ankle Injury Doctor

To heal as quickly as possible, you have to see an ankle injury doctor for your sprain or any other ankle injury. Consider these factors to guide you in your search:

1. Location

If you injure your ankle, you have compromised your mobility and stability. Seek an ankle injury doctor to assist you in recovering and returning to normal activity again.

You should consider an ankle injury doctor's location.

You'll need to find an experienced specialist you can see instantly. An ankle injury doctor could help accurately diagnose the ankle injury and differentiate between an ankle injury that'll heal without surgery from one that requires surgery. Also, see an ankle injury doctor with knowledgeable and friendly staff near you. Consider the accessibility and location of both the surgery center and office.

Though most ankle sprains and other injuries don't require surgery, Ask specifically regarding where surgeries occur when looking for an ankle injury doctor. Some specialists would use an outpatient surgery center, while others would be at a hospital.

2. Reviews

Reviews and references help you see an ankle injury doctor's work from a patient's perspective. A person can easily complete a rating and survey after they've worked with a given physician. These ratings can provide you with opinions of the service you will receive before you walk through a doctor's door.

With that said, recognize that anyone could fill out an online review. If someone is unhappy with an ankle injury doctor for an unrelated medical reason, they can take out their frustration on the doctor online.

However, a referral is better to guarantee that an ankle injury doctor is qualified. When a trusted family member or friend tells you a doctor is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and a great ankle specialist, you can believe them.

3. Specialty

Look at the ankle injury doctor's credentials, education, and training you're considering, along with their board certification(s). Research the difference between a sports medicine physician, an ankle orthopedic surgeon, and a podiatrist. Talk to your regular doctor to know if the ankle specialist you consider has the necessary experience and training.

4. Experience

You have various options for ankle injury doctors when you're searching for an ankle specialist. The best sports medicine expert will understand the best ankle injury treatment because they've seen many different injuries dozens of times.

Experience is also a factor in choosing an ankle injury doctor.

Moreover, an ankle injury treated by a fellowship-trained doctor suggests you have an expert with an extra year of training and experience. This person has trained under another skilled surgeon and focused on just ankles for that whole year.

Look for an ankle injury doctor willing to talk about cutting-edge approaches, devices, and technologies. You want an individual willing to understand the best approaches to ankle problems.

5. Insurance Coverage

Because foot/ankle injuries could take time to heal and impair your ability to stand, walk, and drive, it's important to consult an ankle injury doctor who will help you fully recover as fast as possible. Extended time out of work or unable to drive has real consequences.

It's important to see an ankle injury doctor who will listen empathically and help you navigate your ankle injury's personal and professional challenges during healing.


When do you need to go to the doctor for an ankle injury?

You need to go to an ankle injury doctor if you have severe pain or swelling; have a severe deformity or open wound; have signs of infection, like warmth, redness, and tenderness in the sprained area, or a fever greater than 37.8 C. You would also need to see a specialist if you can't put weight on your foot.

Should I go to the doctor for a sprained ankle?

Although sprained ankles might not always be a cause for concern, there are times when you need to get checked by an ankle injury doctor before the situation gets worse.

© 2024, John Hibbitts, M.D. All Rights Reserved.