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Andrea asked...

My daughter felt something 'go' just below the ankle...

On descending from a bus my daughter felt something 'go' just below the ankle bone and now finding that it has no downward flexion. There is no pain or swelling. Should she seek medical attention perhaps an X-ray or should she wait a few days to see if it rights itself, please?

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The answer

There are a few conditions associated with being unable to bend the foot down or being unable to move the ankle joint. We would suggest seeking medical assessment for a diagnosis of the injury sustained and a subsequent management plan. When diagnosing an ankle injury, your doctor will ask how your daughter injured herself and examine the affected area. An X-ray may be needed in severe cases.

The affected joint and ligaments will be examined to assess the severity of the injury, such as pain, swelling, bruising and how much she can move the injured ankle and whether she is able to put weight on it. For injuries such as muscle strains, your doctor may consider referring her for physiotherapy. Physiotherapy aims to restore movement and function to an injured area of the body. The physiotherapist may show you exercises to help improve the range of motion and return normal function to the injured ankle. This may reduce your daughter’s risk of experiencing long-term problems or injuring the ankle again.

Contact your GP if her injury doesn’t improve as expected or her symptoms get worse. The GP may consider referring her to an orthopedic specialist for further assessment and treatment.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses