If a rolled ankle is followed by pain, it is almost always a sprained ankle. According to the WrongDiagnosis website, a sprained ankle is the most common injury in the United States. Each year around 1 million people in the United States injure an ankle and 85 percent of these injuries are sprains.
RICE is a common acronym used in the medical world, and a rolled ankle is one of the most common injuries for which RICE is used. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. After an ankle has been rolled, it is important to rest the ankle by staying off it. Place an ice pack on the ankle to reduce the swelling. The compression part of the acronym is also done to prevent swelling. Compression is best done with an elastic bandage instead of a plastic bandage or tape. Finally, keep your ankle elevated on a table or a chair to keep the blood flow away from the ankle, also to minimize swelling.
There are some medications that can be helpful for treating a rolled ankle although it is best to get advice from a doctor before taking anything. Some medications that will often be used are aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. Keep in mind that if the person with the rolled ankle is under 18 years of age, taking aspirin or a medication with aspirin can be risky because it can lead to Reye's Syndrome.
If you consult a doctor, once the rolled ankle has begun to heal the doctor will suggest some exercises to get the ankle back into good shape. These exercises will help to prevent stiffness in the ankle, improve your range of motion and improve the mobility and strength of the ankle.
If the rolled ankle results in a ruptured ligament, this is considered a third-degree sprain. Third-degree sprains often require having a cast put on the ankle. The cast will probably be needed for only 2 to 3 weeks, but during that time the ankle should be rested.
The number of rolled ankles that require surgery is very low, but it is a possibility. It is especially rare to need surgery if it is the first time the ankle has been injured. Surgery is a lot more likely if the ankle has been injured multiple times and there is chronic pain or if the ankle was injured once before and didn't heal properly.