To reduce inflammation and the resulting swelling and pain, injured tissue needs to be properly treated. The earlier you start treatment, the better.
Initial treatment for acute inflammation in the foot or ankle consists of RICE therapy:
- R est: Stay off the foot or ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
- I ce: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
- C ompression: An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
- E levation: The foot or ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Elevate the Legs Properly
In addition to the above measures, your foot and ankle surgeon may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, or another type of medication.
If Pain Persists or Becomes Worse
The symptoms of inflammation typically improve within two or three days. If your pain and discomfort do not improve after three days, call your doctor or go to an emergency room to determine whether a more serious problem exists.
As with any medical problem, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding your injury or postoperative care.