Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Will my sprained ankle heal on its own?"
Sprained my ankle playing tennis. I know its a sprain, bruised and swollen, hurts a lot. I've had one before and went to the doc. Do I need to go this time if I know that's all it is. Will it heal okay on its own?
Any time you suffer from an injury such as a sprained ankle, you should always get it checked out by a doctor. This is because you need to make sure that the injury does not represent something worse such as a broken bone, or a torn ligament or tendon. This can be done by a thorough physical exam by your doctor and perhaps some x-rays if your doctor thinks that they are necessary.
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The second reason why you should see a doctor is because many sprained ankles require physical therapy to heal completely. This may be especially true in you since this is your second sprained ankle. After this type of injury, the ligaments need to heal properly or they will be susceptible to either a repeat injury, or a pain for a while even after it heals. The risk for repeat injury can be reduced if the ankle is properly rehabilitated. This is why I send all of my patients that have a sprained ankle to a few sessions of physical therapy so that they can learn the exercises necessary to rehabilitate the ankle. The results are always better than if physical therapy is not involved. This is the type of problem you should see you primary care physician about. If the injury is worse than a sprain, then you may need a referral to see a orthopedist.
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