During the physical exam, your doctor will check for points of tenderness. He or she will move the joint in various ways to check your range of motion and to see if a particular position or movement causes pain.
If the injury is severe, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following imaging scans to rule out a broken bone or to better evaluate the soft tissue damage:
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- X-ray. During an X-ray, a small amount of radiation passes through your body to produce images of your internal structures. This test is good for evaluating bones.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs use radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of internal structures, including soft tissue injuries.
- CT scan. CT scans can reveal more detail about the bones of the joint. CT scans take X-rays from many different angles and combine them to make cross-sectional images of internal structures of your body.
- Sprained ankle. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00150. Accessed June 9, 2014.
- Maughan KL. Ankle sprain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 9, 2014.
- Kaminski TW, et al. National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement: Conservative management and prevention of ankle sprains in athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48:528.
- How to care for a sprained ankle. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/foot-injury/Pages/How%20to%20Care%20for%20a%20Sprained%20Ankle.aspx?PF=1. Accessed June 9, 2014.