Avoid walking, rest, wrap a compression bandage around the ankle and raise the foot on a pillow or chair to reduce ankle swelling, according to WebMD. Additionally, apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for around 20 minutes, and wait for 20 minutes before reapplying.
Home care measures to alleviate ankle swelling include using support stockings, wearing loose-fitting clothing around the thigh area and avoiding the use of garters, says Healthline. To prevent swelling, individuals should keep a healthy body weight, control salt consumption, stay active and exercise the legs regularly.
Doctors may recommend different treatments for swollen ankles depending on the underlying disease or condition that causes the swelling, explains MedicineNet. In many cases, individuals can reduce or get rid of the swelling by elevating the feet above the heart or regularly getting off their feet throughout the day. In other cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat infections, medications for the underlying illness or a splint for a sprain.
Ankle swelling is sometimes a critical symptom of a severe condition requiring emergency medical treatment, notes MedicineNet. It is a primary symptom of foot and ankle fractures, kidney failure, liver failure, preeclampsia in pregnancy and congestive heart failure exacerbations. Individuals should seek urgent medical attention if they experience other symptoms, such as fever, chest pain and shortness of breath.