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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 49114
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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How do I tell the difference between a fracture and a

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How do I tell the difference between a fracture and a sprain/ligament tearing

Hello I'm Dr Chip

Can you first tell me what's going on please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I trapped the back of my ankle in a gate. Gate got stuck and I was facing forwards with my hand reaching behind me so when it stalled I pulled and it came unstuck so quickly that I dragged it onto the back of my ankle, right above my heel. I was wearing heeled boots, so my weight was on the ball of my foot which meant the gate pulled my heel backwards which force. I could have sworn I felt tearing when it happened. It was intensely painful. I had to drive home right after, and every time I had to pump the break (anything that flexed the lower part of my ankle right above my heel) the pain was more intense. I iced it repeatedly for the last 18 hours or so and kept it elevated. It's not really swollen and I can walk on it without pain and flex my toes, as long as I don't flex the entire foot. Moving it from side to side hurts..anything that involves moving that bone that sticks out from the side of my foot or flexing my achilles hurts. There's some pain across the top of my foot if I try to flex that was well. The bit I got jammed on the gate is slightly red and there's a lot of bruising on either side at the back of my ankle. I
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I trapped the back of my ankle in a gate. Gate got stuck and I was facing forwards with my hand reaching behind me so when it stalled I pulled and it came unstuck so quickly that I dragged it onto the back of my ankle, right above my heel. I was wearing heeled boots, so my weight was on the ball of my foot which meant the gate pulled my heel backwards with force. I could have sworn I felt tearing when it happened. It was intensely painful. I had to drive home right after, and every time I had to pump the break (anything that flexed the lower part of my ankle right above my heel) the pain was more intense. I iced it repeatedly for the last 18 hours or so and kept it elevated. It's not really swollen and I can walk on it without pain and flex my toes, as long as I don't flex the entire foot. Moving it from side to side hurts..anything that involves moving that bone that sticks out from the side of my foot or flexing my achilles hurts. There's some pain across the top of my foot if I try to flex that as well. The bit I got jammed on the gate is slightly red and there's a lot of bruising on either side at the back of my ankle.

So this happened how long ago?

And is there any bruising?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It happened 18 hours ago. There's purple/blue bruising on either side of the bone on the back of my ankle and some beneath the bone that sticks out from your ankle slightly (medial malleolus?) , though not on the bit of my ankle that got caught by the gate. That area is a red mark about the side of a 10p piece (dime size). It's not bruised, just red. I think the bruising is where I felt the tearing.

OK

Sounds like a significant sprain without an accompanying fracture

Elevation, ice, and ibuprofen are the mainstays for the first 24 hours but if after another day this is still giving you a fair amount of trouble you need to have your doctor for an exam and possibly an MRI of the ankle and foot to check for an actual ligament tear

Please let me know if you need any more information

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