Do I Need an X-Ray?
Injuries happen. When they do, it can be difficult to determine the severity. Certain injuries, such as ankle injuries are even more complex because sometimes you can’t even see what’s hurt. The most common sprains are ankles, knees, wrists and thumbs. Symptoms of sprains are swelling, bruising, pain and sometimes loss of movement to the affected joint. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture though. The trick is you may experience some swelling regardless, of there is a fracture or not. Here’s some guidelines to follow to determine if you need an x-ray.
The Level of Pain:
Say you fall down, of course it’s going to be painful. However, it’s whether or not the pain subdues in the next thirty minutes to be cautious about. Similarly, if you’ve felt pain for days or weeks, that’s a huge red flag. You should contact your doctor at that point undoubtedly for more explanation.
Your ankle, wrist, or any other part of your body should not be swollen for a lengthened period of time. It’s common for athletes in running and contact sports to have ankles swell up but if it’s directly caused by an injury and the redness doesn’t go away, it could be a bigger problem. If this is the case, you should rest and avoid walking or use ice packs. If it’s not an injury, then it could be an infection, a blood clot, etc. Either way, your doctor will probably recommend you get an x-ray or MRI depending on where the swelling’s occurring.
Type of Injury:
Certain injuries are more likely to result in needing an x-ray than others. Contact your doctor and tell them about what happened. For example, if you fell down and landed on your ankle they might think it’s more urgent than if you jammed your ankle.
Some people wonder if there’s ways to diagnose an ankle or other ligament injury without an x-ray or MRI; your doctor could do a physical examine but it’s much harder to determine the injury and they could miss something severe that needs to be taken care of. We understand some people have concerns over x-rays because of fear of radiation or pain. Be assured, X-Rays do not hurt and have limited radiation. It’s alright to be concerned about your safety and we’re glad you are. Feel free to ask us or your doctor any questions. The good news is that if you need an MRI, we’re available for appointments!