Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ

Question:

I'm treating my own ankle sprain at home following my doctor's advice. Every day I use a tape measure to see if the swelling is going down. Is this really accurate?

Answer:

Your results may depend on how you use the tape measurer. A standard way to assess swelling at the ankle is to wrap a tape measure around the foot and ankle in a figure 8. The advantage of this method is that it gives a standard way to measure each time.

By comparing one day to another or one week to another, you can see if there has been any change. You can measure both ankles and compare the injured ankle to the uninjured leg. The disadvantage is that you are really measuring the ankle and the foot with the figure-8 method.

Ivy O. W. Man, and Matthew C. Morrissey. Relationship Between Ankle-Foot Swelling and Self-Assessed Function after Ankle Sprain. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. March 2005. Vol. 37. No. 3. Pp. 360-363.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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