Lucky for us there are a set of rules set up to determine if your sprained ankle is just that or if an x-ray is required for a possible fracture. The above diagram shows the specific points which if are tender require an x-ray to be completed. (Image: https://omahapti.com/when-is-an-x-ray-necessary-after-an-ankle-sprain/)
Arrow 1: Lateral Malleolus
Arrow 2: Base of the 5th Metatarsal
Arrow 3: Medial malleolus
Arrow 4: Navicular bone
Together with these four points and if you were unable to weight bear through the affected side immediately after the injury or when you get home then again, an x-ray would be indicated.
You can check these 4 screening questions to help with your decision:
1. Can you take 4 steps (it’s okay if you need to limp)? NO? –> GET AN XRAY
2. Do you have tenderness/pain on your medial or lateral malleoli (the little bone bumps on either side of your ankle)? Specifically, the back side of the bones and 6cm up the leg? YES? –> GET AN XRAY
3. Do you have tenderness/pain around the base of the 5th metatarsal (bump on the outside portion of your foot; halfway between your heel and your little toe)? YES? –> GET AN XRAY
4. Do you have tenderness/pain around the navicular bone (bump on the medial/inside portion of your foot?) YES> –> GET AN XRAY
Reference – Do I need an x-ray after an ankle sprain?
But if you are unsure about your injury always seek advice from a medical professional whether it be your GP or Physiotherapist.
Our Physios are on hand for advice and assessment – appointments are available by calling 5535 5218
Gold Coast Physiotherapy and Allied Health at Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach