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Ankle Injury – When To See A Doctor?


After you have an ankle injury, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you can. Sometimes an injury that seems like a simple sprain is a more serious problem, so you should always keep an eye on it in the days and weeks following an ankle injury.

There are several signs that your ankle injury requires the attention of a doctor.

  • Pain that does not go away or worsens: It does take some time for ankle injuries to heal – anywhere from two to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. But if the pain does not start to lessen within a couple of days, you should see a doctor. This may be a sign of a more severe injury.
  • Misshapen foot or ankle: Compare your injured ankle to your other ankle. If the injured ankle looks different from the healthy ankle, you should see an injury doctor immediately. This may be a sign of a broken bone.
  • You can’t walk without severe pain: While some discomfort when walking with an injured ankle is to be expected, acute pain is not. You should see a doctor if you are in excessive pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When you see a doctor, he or she may recommend X-rays, depending on how severe your injury is. This will help the doctor determine if the bones in the ankle are broken.

The doctor may also recommend rehabilitation modalities such as physical therapy, wearing ankle braces, and pain relievers. If the X-ray shows that you have a broken bone, you may be referred to an orthopedist for further evaluation, and you will most likely have to wear a cast. In more severe cases, your ankle may require ankle surgery.

Ankle Injuries and Workers’ Comp

Your ankle injury may prevent you from walking or lifting heavy objects, which may interfere with your job. Some ankle injuries may keep you out of work for months. If you can’t go to work, you should see a doctor so you can get your injury evaluated and documented. This will immensely help you later when you need to file for workers’ compensation.

In some cases, your injury may have permanently disabled you, either fully or partially. In this case, you can receive a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) award in New York. You will be eligible for this after you have recovered from your injury as much as possible. Your doctor will need to submit a report stating that you have recovered to a certain degree. This is why seeing a doctor after your injury has initially happened is so important.

Even if your work accident aggravated a pre-existing condition, you could still qualify for workers’ comp in New York. You should make sure you ask for and fill out your employer’s insurance forms and instructions for filling them out. Make sure to select a doctor that is authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB Authorized Providers). They are the ones that workers’ comp insurance will cover for medical bills associated with your injury. These doctors will also be able to submit reports and forms to the Workers’ Comp Board (WCB) on your behalf.

If you need help finding an experienced doctor following your ankle injury, call 1-800-897-8440.