Assessing the ankle includes assessing the function of the foot below the ankle. There are three main points to assess.
- Circulation: Assess circulation by feeling the temperature of the foot. Compare the temperature of the injured foot to the temperature of the uninjured foot. You can also assess circulation by feeling for the presence of a pulse in the foot or by checking capillary refill. Note any difference in temperature between the patient’s two feet.
- Sensation: Assess the sensation of the foot by touching a toe and asking the patient to identify which toe is being touched. Note any numbness or tingling the patient feels when his or her injured foot is touched.
- Motion: Have the patient wiggle the toes on the injured foot. Note any inability of the patient to move the toes or foot.