A concise, evidence-based medical tool that saves you money
Does hearing a “pop” when I twist my ankle automatically mean I need an X-ray?
MedHead Confidence Score: 7
Amount Saved: $200 X-ray cost $120 urgent care cost
If you hear a “pop”, it usually means you have partially torn a ligament in the ankle. This is what the definition of a “sprain” is, a partial tear of the ankle ligament. If this occurs, wrap a compression bandage around the ankle, get some ice on it, elevate it, and rest. Called RICE (i.e., Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) usually sprains take 2-4 weeks to recover to full functional strength.
1. Dowling S et al.Accuracy of Ottawa Ankle Rules to exclude fractures of the ankle and midfoot in children: a meta-analysis. Acad Emerg Med. 2009 Apr;16(4):277-87 2. Bachmann LM et al. Accuracy of Ottawa ankle rules to exclude fractures of the ankle and mid-foot: systematic review BMJ, Feb 2003; 326: 417. 3. https://www.newchoicehealth.com/procedures/ankle-x-ray