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Should I get an x-ray for a sprained ankle?

If you sprained your ankle, you do not necessarily need an x-ray, though it will be the method necessary to rule out a fracture. If your ankle is broken or fractured, there is often a deformity; you should be able to see that your bones are not in line and may appear different when compared to your uninjured ankle. Pain will be sharp and intense over one spot if there is an ankle fracture. If you can walk on your ankle, there is minimal pain and after several days of proper care your ankle is getting better, an x-ray probably is not necessary. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.