ZocdocAnswersA box fell on my ankle and now it's swollen and hurts...help!

Question

A box fell on my ankle and now it's swollen and hurts...help!

I can walk, but it hurts. Help please!

Answer

You should definitely go to see your primary care doctor about this as soon as you can. There are two different possibilities here. The first is that you have sprained the ankle, which occurs when damage is done to the ligaments that hold the bones of the ankle joint together. When a sprain occurs, there is pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint. If your doctor decides this is a sprain, then this is almost always treated with rest, elevation of the injured ankle, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Occasionally, a brace or splint may also be necessary, or your doctor might recommend crutches to take weight off of the ankle. The second possibility is that you have broken a bone inside the foot. If your doctor, after examining the foot, suspects this, then they will want to get x-rays of the foot to make the diagnosis. Treatment of broken bones in the foot depends a lot on the severity of the injury, but most of the time evaluation by an orthopedic doctor (bone specialist) is needed to help determine what treatment is appropriate. Get in to see your doctor as soon as you possibly can for an evaluation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.