WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Foot Sprain (Aftercare Instructions) Care Guide
- Foot Sprain Aftercare Instructions
- En Espanol
A foot sprain is caused by a stretched or torn ligament in the foot or toe. Ligaments are tough tissues that connect bones.
Care for your foot:
- Rest your foot: Limit movement in your sprained foot for the first 2 to 3 days. You might need crutches to take weight off your injured foot as it heals. Use crutches as directed.
- Ice your foot: Put an ice pack, or ice in a bag wrapped in a towel, on your foot every hour for 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to ice the area at least 4 to 8 times each day. Ice your sprain for as many days as directed.
- Compress your foot: Binding (tight hold) helps support your foot as it heals. You may use tape or an elastic bandage to bind mild sprains. You may need a splint on your foot if your sprain is severe. Wear your splint for as many days as directed.
- Elevate your foot: Elevate (raise) your foot higher than your waist as often as you can. You can keep your foot raised comfortably by resting it on a pillow. Elevation may help reduce swelling.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are taking any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.
Exercise your foot:
You may be given exercises to improve your strength and to help decrease stiffness. The exercises and physical therapy can help restore strength and increase the range of motion in your foot. Check with your primary healthcare provider before you return to your normal activities or sports.
Prevent another injury:
- Warm up and stretch before you exercise.
- Do not exercise when you feel pain or you are tired.
- Wear equipment to protect yourself when you play sports.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider:
Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them in your follow-up visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- The skin on your injured foot looks bluish or pale (less color than normal).
- You have new weakness or numbness in your foot. It may tingle or burn.
- You have new or increased swelling or pain in your foot.
- You have new or increased stiffness when you move your injured foot.
- You have questions or concerns about your injury or treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.