Non-surgical treatments are also called “conservative treatments.” They are often the first type of treatment a doctor may recommend, in the hope that your body can heal itself.
Simple non-surgical treatments go by the name RICE:
- Rest your ankle. Don’t walk or put weight on it.
- Ice your ankle with an ice pack for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day.
- Compress and support your ankle with bandages or ace-wraps.
- Elevate your ankle for 48 hours. Keep your ankle on pillows above your heart level.
Here are other common non-surgical treatments.
- Casts and braces: Devices that immobilize and support a joint while it heals.
- Cortisone shots: Injections of corticosteroid medicine, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, into the joint.
- Iontophoresis: A mild electrical current that causes a tingling sensation and helps reduce inflammation.
- Physical therapy and exercises: Strength-building exercises and stretches can take the load off your ankle joint and help keep your foot flexible.
- Ultrasound: Sound waves that generate heat inside the joint, and may help improve circulation.