Ankle Injuries: When Is It Time to Call the Doctor?

Feb 13, 2024
 Ankle Injuries: When Is It Time to Call the Doctor?
Are you ignoring a foot or ankle injury? Putting off a doctor’s appointment is tempting, especially if a problem seems minor. However, it can also set you up for disaster when it involves this part of your body.

Foot and ankle injuries are common. Even a simple misstep can cause a painful ankle twist or break that requires weeks of recovery.

So, when should you see a doctor?

Dr. Hai-En Peng understands that no one wants an unnecessary doctor’s visit. However, as a skilled podiatrist, he highly recommends scheduling an appointment when you injure this part of your body. 

If you’ve injured your ankle, here’s why you should schedule an appointment at Align Foot & Ankle Center in Camarillo or Santa Barbara, California.

Ankle injury basics

It doesn’t take much to sustain an ankle injury. This joint has tremendous flexibility, allowing you to engage in activities from walking and running to jumping and dancing. 

However, the tissue that holds the joint together and provides stability can only stretch so far. And, with the demands we put on our feet and ankles, the tissue can experience strain.

Common ankle injuries include the following:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Stress fractures and fractures

These injuries can vary in severity, and some require more advanced medical treatment. However, any injury to the ankle can cause chronic instability in the joint.  

Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment, even a minor ankle injury can increase your risk of additional problems in the future.

When to see a doctor for your ankle injury

Dr. Peng recommends seeing an expert if you sustain any injury to your foot or ankle that causes pain, swelling, or bruising. That ensures you receive an exam with digital imaging to determine the extent of damage and the best treatment.

However, Dr. Peng suggests seeking emergency care if your foot or ankle symptoms include:

  • Worsening pain, especially with severe swelling 
  • Numbness, marked tenderness, or bleeding
  • Changes in skin color
  • An open wound or deformity
  • Signs of infection, like warmth, redness, or tenderness
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

If you’re still unsure whether to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Peng’s office for personalized guidance on how to proceed.

Treating an ankle injury

Whenever possible, Dr. Peng relies on a combination of minimally invasive treatments for foot and ankle injuries, such as:

  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • Custom orthotics
  • Multiwave locked system (MLS) laser therapy
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Physical therapy

Dr. Peng also offers sports medicine services for injuries associated with athletic activities.

For severe foot and ankle injuries, Dr. Peng could recommend surgery. These treatments repair soft or hard tissue damage to restore function and stability.

In addition to treating your existing ankle injury, Dr. Peng also provides expert pointers on how to avoid ongoing problems in the future. That often involves maintaining muscle strength and flexibility, wearing activity-appropriate shoes that fit properly, and warming up before exercise.

Did you injure your foot or ankle? Don’t add to your recovery time — get a diagnosis today. Contact Align Foot & Ankle Center to schedule an exam with Dr. Peng at his office in Camarillo or Santa Barbara, California.