Should You Go to an Urgent Care for Ankle Sprains
Often, when a person has an ankle sprain they’ll automatically go to a doctor or hospital. However, there are cases when it makes more sense to go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room. Which is best for your needs depends on several factors, including your age and how long ago your injury occurred. An urgent care doctor will be able to diagnose any bone injuries and recommend treatment based on his findings. This might include an X-ray or MRI scan (depending on if there’s any soft tissue damage). If further treatment isn’t needed, an urgent care physician will prescribe medications for pain relief and make recommendations for at-home recovery.
When an ankle sprain happens, it’s easy to wonder if urgent care is a better option than visiting your primary care physician. Depending on how bad your injury is, you may be tempted to head over to an urgent care for treatment—and there are times when that could be best. However, if your ankle sprain isn’t serious enough for urgent care, it will most likely be best to visit your PCP instead. Don’t worry: Though they sound very similar and are relatively close in location, they serve different functions and perform different services. Here’s everything you need to know about ankle sprains and whether or not they warrant a trip to urgent care or should be treated by your PCP instead.
If you’ve experienced a sprain, and it’s causing significant pain or making it hard to move around, then absolutely go to an urgent care center for treatment. Ankle sprains tend to be more severe than other sprains because of their location; they are also far more common due to all of our active lifestyles. As such, a trip to urgent care is much more likely needed than if one were experiencing pain on another part of their body. It’s best not to wait on seeing a doctor if your ankle pain is impacting your ability to move about or causing sharp pains when walking. An orthopedic surgeon will want your x-rays immediately so that they can check for signs of damage or dislocation and recommend treatment right away.
It’s important to visit an urgent care for ankle sprains that don’t heal within a few days. Because of their close proximity to major blood vessels, complications from untreated ankle sprains are quite common and range from pain and immobility to tissue damage. Treatment should involve manipulating and stabilizing your ankle, removing any debris in your foot, applying ice packs or compression wraps as needed, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. If symptoms continue or worsen after two weeks, it may be time to consider seeking treatment at a specialist like Foot & Ankle Specialists.