Read the full article here.
A study of 600 patients found that a 10-day below-knee cast is more effective than standard treatment with a tubular bandage.
The findings, published in The Lancet, are at odds with general medical opinion that the best thing for a sprained ankle is to keep it moving.
Up to 1.5m people a year in the UK go to A&E with a sprained ankle.
The injury accounts for 3-5% of all UK emergency department attendances and varies from minor stretching of the ligament to a complete tear.
It is commonly treated with ice, elevation, tubular compression bandage and advice to exercise.
But the researchers found that a tubular bandage was consistently the worst treatment.
In patients with severe ankle sprain attending eight emergency departments in the UK, a 10-day below-knee cast was associated with a speedier recovery in terms of ankle function, pain, symptoms and activity three months later.
The second best treatment was an Aircast brace which limits movement of the ankle.
The Bledsoe boot - another type of brace which is designed to restrict movement of the ankle but allow users to walk - was no more effective than a tubular bandage and neither can be recommended as a treatment for these injuries, the researchers said.
By nine months there was no difference between the groups.
In the new world of self help and to avoid a high emergency room deductibles, most patients choose self treatment. Let's face it, even with the new ObamaCare plan, we face high deductibles on doctors visits. I remember a few years back, I hurt my ankle really bad. It swelled so huge. The ER doctor did an X-ray and found no break. So they sent me away with nothing, but a huge $1300 emergency room bill. That was with health insurance. I wonder what they charged my insurance company.
If you can buy an ace bandages and crutches from the local store. Is there a place to buy cast supplies? According to the research, you only need to keep the cast on 10 days. They sell cast shears to help you remove the cast.
There are two types of cast materials. Plaster (mostly used in the 70's and 80's) and Fiberglass casting tape (which is widely used today). Both materials are easy to remove and will help you treat that badly sprained ankle.
Below is a link to plaster bandages and where you can purchase cast padding and stockinette.
You can find YouTube videos on how to apply a plaster short leg cast (Plaster SLC) or a fiberglass short leg cast.
Plaster Bandages supplies (it's best to buy extra):
The normal amounts for a short leg cast are as follows:
4 rolls of 3" plaster bandages
4 rolls of 4" cast padding
36 inches (3feet) of 3" synthetic stockinette.
2 pair of gloves
You can buy 1/2 a case of plaster here, it's best to have extra on hand.:
Remember to buy gloves:
or if you choose to go the fiberglass cast option. You can buy it in a kit below.
Don't forget the cast shears to remove the cast after 10 days.
You may also need a good pair of scissors to cut the padding and stockinette.
This is intended for educational purpose only. Use at your own risk. Always wear gloves when working with materials.