Do I Need An X-Ray For A Sprained Ankle?

January 25, 2023

Most of the time, a sprained ankle doesn't need an x-ray. A sprained ankle is usually easy to figure out by looking at it and thinking about how it feels. But if there is a chance of a break, an x-ray may be done to ensure there isn't a break.

Different Types Of Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures come in a few different forms, such as:

  • Avulsion fractures happen when a tendon or ligament pulls a small piece of bone away from the prominent bone.
  • Whenever a bone is overworked or strained repeatedly, it may develop tiny fissures known as stress fractures.
  • Fracture dislocations happen when the ankle bones are broken and moved or moved out of place.
  • Fractures of the medial malleolus: This is a bone break on the ankle's inside.
  • Fractures of the lateral malleolus: This is a break in the bone on the outside of the ankle.
  • Fractures of the fibula: This is a break in the bone on the exterior of the ankle that runs alongside the tibia, the more prominent bone in the lower leg.
  • Pilon fractures are breaks at the end of the tibia and fibula. They can be caused by a hard fall or a hit to the leg.

Ankle fractures can be treated in different ways depending on the break. These include rest, ice, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

When To Get An X-Ray And Medical Treatment

Getting medical attention right away if you sprain your ankle is vital. Especially true if you have severe pain, swelling, bruises, or trouble putting weight on your foot. A doctor or nurse may order an X-ray to rule out multiple fractures.

If a sprain is found, it is usually treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which all help to reduce swelling and pain. Painkillers that can be bought over the counter may also be suggested. Depending on the sprain's wrong, a doctor might recommend physiotherapy or a brace to help support the ankle while it heals.

Getting An X-Ray At Urgent Care

At an urgent care facility, getting an X-ray is as simple as walking in, and a radiologist will generally review the images once they have been taken. Afterward, the radiologist will forward the results to the attending physician at the urgent care clinic, who will then consult with you on the findings.

In most cases, it is used in the process of aiding in the diagnosis of injuries or diseases such as fractured bones, pneumonia, or lung tumors. Before the X-ray, you may be requested to take off any jewelry or articles of clothing that might obstruct the view of the picture being captured by the X-ray machine. This is an entirely painless and non-invasive process.

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