College Student Health Quiz

8. I sprained my ankle-which symptoms mean I might need an x-ray?

ANSWER: A. You can’t bear weight enough to walk three steps

Doctors use the Ottawa Rules to help decide if a fracture is likely (and therefore whether or not to get an x-ray.) There are three basic parts:

  1. Could you bear weight enough to walk four steps right after the injury?
  2. Can you bear weight enough to walk four steps now?
  3. Is there tenderness to touch on the inside or outside back (posterior) portion of your ankle bones (along the bones)?

A YES to any ONE of these means we should consider an x-ray to look for a fracture.
[See Ankle Sprains]

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