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Athletic Training

Swollen ankle

08/14/2007

Question:

Hi there,

I have been suffering from a right swollen ankle for several years now. I`m 29 and weigh 8st 4lb. My left ankle is fine but my right ankle is always quite swollen. Even after having slept all night it is still marginally swollen.

Do you know what this could be due to?

I`ve been to see several GPs about this, always getting a different answer. One said it was due to sprain at some point in my life, I`ve actually sprained both ankles in the past which I`m sure everyone does anyway. I`ve been told all sorts of things but I can`t really remember off the top of my head as this was ages ago.

thanks

Joanna

Answer:

Typically after an ankle sprain there is residual swelling/puffiness that stays in the area for a while. Without seeing your ankle and knowing your history it is difficult to give you a solid answer. Please consult with your physician before executing this treatment plan.

You could do a combination therapy regiment for about 7 -10 days. This would consist of alternating ice and heat for 18 minutes once or twice a day. First, begin by placing ankle in an ice bath 55 -65 degrees for three minutes, immediately take ankle out and place in a warm bucket (98-102 degrees) for 1 minute. Immediately remove ankle and place back in the ice for 2 minutes, remove and place in the warm bucket for 1 minute. Repeat this 2min=1min cycle 4 times. End treatment in the cold for 3 minutes.

Following this you should dry off!  Next, take your towel and wrap around your foot holding the two ends each in hand. Pull towards your face, keeping your knee strait to stretch your calf and Achilles tendon. This will help to increase your flexibility and improve motion in this joint.

These two treatment ideas can help. Good Luck and remember it does take time to heal, sometimes slower than what we think.

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Response by:

Chalisa   Fonza, MA, ATC Chalisa Fonza, MA, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Clinical Instructor at the School of Allied Medical Professionals
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University