FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- As the weather starts to break, more of us are spending time outdoors. Those activities can come with injuries though.
Doctors say they're seeing more people come in with ankle injuries, particularly sprains and fractures. Dr. Stephen Lo is a pediatrician at Group Health Cooperative's Hatchery Hill Clinic in Fitchburg. He explains a sprain is a stretch or tear in the ligament around the ankle, whereas a fracture is an actual break in the leg bone, near the ankle.
Symptoms for a sprain can include swelling or bruising around the ankle or pain with movement, but not pain when pushing on the ankle bone or shin. A fracture can include those same symptoms, but there will also usually be pain when you push on the ankle bone or shin, and the pain may be so severe you can't walk.
To treat an ankle injury, Dr. Lo says ice it, elevate it, wrap it in an ACE bandage, use crutches, rest from physical activities or think about physical therapy. If it's a fracture, you may need a cast.
Dr. Lo says if you're experiencing ankle pain lasting two to five days that doesn't improve, it's time to go see a doctor. Also go see a doctor if there's persistent pain lasting for longer than that.