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Do I Need An X-Ray For My Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain can happen when there is a sudden twist or sideways movements of the ankle (sometimes caused by footwear, sometimes it's slip/accident, sometimes it's uneven ground etc).

Usually, whenever we sprain our ankle, there is at least one or sometimes more ligaments in our ankle joint that gets overstretched and injured.

A ligament is a short band of tough, flexible fibrous connective tissue which connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint.

Ligaments work to keep our joints stable and secure, and this includes preventing excessive/over-stretching movements from/in our joints - when we sprain a joint, the usually simply means that we had over-stretched the ligament of that particular joint to become:

  • partially torn (aka "partial tear")
  • completely torn (aka "full tear")

ankle sprain symptoms

The common symptoms associated with ankle sprains will/may include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • bruising (blue-black bruises)

How "bad" the symptoms directly correlate with the severity of ankle sprain injury...so if you find that you have very very serious/bad ankle sprain symptoms, we highly recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

We can refer you to foot and ankle orthopedic specialists to help you and your loved ones.

Ankle sprain symptoms that should be immediate red flags include:

  • much difficulty to weight bear much less walk on the affected ankle
  • severe swelling
  • pain in the foot or above the ankle, and especially sharp pain that seems to get worse (normally, with sprains, the pain goes down with time/over few days)

differential diagnosis: potential ankle fracture

Often, it can be very hard for differential diagnosis between an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture, and in some cases, an ankle X-Ray IS required.

It's dependent on the attending doctor to determine if a foot and ankle X-ray is required, and more often than not, X-rays are only  medically required if patient experiences/feels bony pain in the malleolar or midfoot area, and any one of the following symptoms:

  • bone tenderness along the distal 6 cm of the posterior edge of the tibia or tip of the medial malleolus
  • bone tenderness along the distal 6 cm of the posterior edge of the fibula or tip of the lateral malleolus
  • bone tenderness at the base of the fifth metatarsal
  • bone tenderness at the navicular bone
  • inability to bear weight both immediately and in the emergency department for four steps

Of course, there are certain groups of individuals that are excluded:

  • children (under the age of 18)
  • pregnant women
  • those with diminished ability to follow the test

Why determining need for ankle foot X-ray or not, will help t:

  • reduce patient waiting time
  • avoid inappropriate and unnecessary X-ray exposure
  • improves accuracy of the clinical examination
  • reduces health care expenditures on unnecessary X-rays of the ankle and foot

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(or check your pains / injuries)

Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

  1. manage and decrease hand pains
  2. improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
  3. increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


  • Cupping TCM
  • Auricular Therapy TCM
  • Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation


Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

do Tell Your Family, Friends And Colleagues About Us =)

We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the # 1 way we grow as a clinic / brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We prefer not to rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

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