Acute treatment should start as quickly as possible after the injury has occurred. The objective
of the acute treatment is primarily to prevent additional injury and reduce bleeding as much as
possible. Effective acute treatment will limit swelling, the formation of scar tissue and the
number of complications which can arise.
Initial Treatment Should Follow The So-Called "R.I.C.E." Principles
Continued sports activity is immediately stopped and weight is kept off the
ankle for a presecribed length of time.
As soon as is possible, ice should be placed on the injured
area and off and on for at least the first three days. The cold ice makes the blood vessels
contract, thereby stopping the bleeding. Cold spray has no effect in such circumstances. The ice
must not come into direct contact with the skin, which should be covered with a thin layer of, for
example, elastic bandage. Ice treatment should be given for twenty minutes in each of the first
three hours after injury.
Cold compresses or an elastic wrap should be
applied, but not so tight as to hinder circulation. The compression bandage should be removed at
night, but applied again each morning until the swelling goes down.
The injured area should be kept above the level of
the heart to encourage venous flow to the heart.