UPDATE: “Breaking news! (Foot pun intended.) Harrison Ford apparently broke his leg when he fell! Good thing he got checked out by a doctor, and didn’t just assume it was a sprain. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery!” -Dr. Putnam

Harrison Ford was injured on the set of the new Star Wars movie this week, twisting his ankle, and having to be taken to a local hospital for treatment. Apparently he got his foot caught in the door of the Millennium Falcon.

When I heard this news I had two thoughts in rapid-fire succession.

#1: Poor Han Solo! I hope it was just a simple sprain and not a lasting injury; I hope he heals quickly!

And #2: The Millennium Falcon is in the new movies! YAY! It’s such an integral character in the franchise, even though it’s a non-living object, and people will most likely go bananas and cheer when the camera pans over it for the first time in Episode VII. I can’t wait!

But back to the podiatry.

Twisting your ankle, like Harrison Ford did, is a very common injury. Unfortunately, most people don’t twist theirs in such a spectacular fashion. “I twisted my ankle exiting the Millennium Falcon” rates up there with other impressive explanations, like, “I twisted it stepping out of the Pope Mobile,” or “my ankle got caught in the Queen’s robe as we toured Buckingham Palace,” or “when I went to the Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence tripped over me and sprained my ankle.”

You probably sprained yours tripping over one of your daughter’s action figures.

Regardless of the mechanism of injury, sprained ankles hurt, and should be cared for appropriately. If you’ve twisted your ankle–even if you can still walk on it–it might be broken. Major clues that you broke something are excessive swelling, redness, and bruising. Definitely go to your podiatrist or an ER for an x-ray.

While waiting to be checked out by a doctor, the basic RICE principle is a great rule of thumb for treatment:R: Rest it. Don’t walk more than you have to. If you’ve got crutches and feel better staying off the foot completely, go right ahead and use them until a physician tells you otherwise. I: Ice. Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or cloth for 10 minutes out of every hour. C: Compression. Wrap the area as soon as you can in an ACE wrap or other bandage. This will prevent further swelling. Don’t wrap TOO tight; this should not be a tourniquet that turns your toes blue. E: Elevation. Water runs downhill, and so does swelling. Prop your foot and leg up in the air and leave it there. Best amount of elevation is to have your foot at the same level as your heart.

Lastly, tell your doctor exactly what happened–the details of the trauma are actually extremely important in our diagnosis and treatment sometimes. Then come up with a more exotic story to tell the neighbors. “Well, I was talking to a German model when I noticed a litter of puppies directly in the path of a speeding, runaway bus, so I dove….”


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