Do I need a X-Ray after an Ankle Sprain?

At one point or another, most people will experience some type of a possible ankle injury during their lifetime. Whether you just twisted your ankle on the stairs, rolled it off of the sidewalk, or slammed it while you were playing your favorite sport, ankle injuries can hurt like hell. The Biggest question which pops into our mind is

‘Is my foot broken? DO I have a fracture?’

How do you know that its ONLY an ankle sprain, and not anything worse like a FRACTURE?

Well lucky for you, there’s a quick an easy test you can do NOW to screen if you need an x-ray after an ankle sprain/injury.

Ankle X-ray Screening Questions – Ottawa Ankle Rules

  1. Can you take 4 steps (its okay if need to limp)? NO? –> GET AN XRAY
  2. Do you have tenderness/pain around your medial or lateral malleoli (the little bone bumps on either side of your ankle)? Specifically the back side of the bones? YES? –> GET AN XRAY
  3. Do you have tenderness/pain around the base of the 5th metatarsal (bump on the lateral/outside portion of your foot; halfway between your heel and your little toe)? YES? –> GET AN XRAY
  4. Do you have tenderness/pain around the navicular bone (bump on the medial/inside portion of your foot?) YES> –> GET AN XRAY

If the answers to the above questions are GET AN XRAY indicates you need to see your doctor or go to ER right now. There are bright chances you have a fracture.

But if the answers are not suggestive of getting a Xray indicates you need to follow PRICE technique.

P→ Protect

R→ Rest

I→ Ice: Apply ice for 7 minutes 3–5 times a day.

C→ Compression: tie a crepe bandage to reduce swelling

E→ Elevation: above the heart level.

Apply these simple rules next time and save time, energy, exposure to unnecessary X-ray and expenditure. To prevent recurrent ankle sprains visit a physiotherapist.

Dr. Mansi Parikh,

Co-Founder EndoRush App

Best Physiotherapy App