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Old 19.08.2011, 18:11
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The cost of a sprained ankle...

Hello!

My year in Switzerland is not starting very well.
Two days ago, while jogging, I severely sprained my right ankle when my foot landed half-way on the sidewalk and half-way to the right of the sidewalk. When it happened, I heard a very distinct "cracking noise". I thought I had broken something but after reading about sprained ankles, it appears that it was the ripping of ligaments and/or other stuff.

Right now, 48 hours after the incident, my foot is very swollen (from toes to a few inches up my leg) and there is a large (1/2 inch by 5 inch) purple bruise on the outer side of my foot.

From what I have read, there is no need to consult when it is a minor sprained. But in my case it is probably a severe sprained ankle and it may be a good idea to put it in a cast.

Now my question: How much will it cost to
- see a doctor,
- have an x-ray to rule out a broken bone;
- have a cast for a few weeks;
- go back and have the cast removed;
- and whatever else I may need
?

I DO NOT HAVE insurance here. I will have to pay cash and I will get reimburse by my Canadian travel insurance (at 80%, I think).

Are we talking a few hundred francs or a few thousand francs?

Thank you.

- frustrated in St-Sulpice who must now forget about the Lausanne half-marathon...
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:27
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

My teenage son has broken his 5th metatarsal (bone that runs down the outer edge of the foot) three separate times by rolling his foot outward coming down from jumping to get a rebound while playing basketball. He described hearing an audible crack each time. It sounds like this might be what you have done as well.

In my son's case, he was x-rayed each time in order to confirm the break. The first time he received a cast; the second and third times only a walking boot. Crutches were necessary in all three instances for a short period of time. Also, in all three cases, a follow up appointment was necessary in order to remove the cast and/or x-ray again to confirm proper healing of the fracture.

Sorry I cannot help you regarding costs as we were in the US at the time of all three; just wanted you to be aware that it very well might be a fracture.

Good luck - hope it turns out to be a sprain in your case. Hope you are icing and elevating it!
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:32
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Hi, I feel your pain as it happened to me 3 times on the same ankle. 2 times during basketball game and one time running. Can't help you in regard to the doctor bills, but I can tell you an advice of how to sort it not too suffer in the future. As you described, I experienced huge pain and very violent cracking noise. Probably nothing is broken but you will need an Xray just to see the condition of the bones and muscles. You need to have the ankle in a removable cast and only in the area of the ankle, not the whole leg. After some weeks I advise you to start a therapy with a medical professional from the basketball league or national team that is very experienced in this kind of injuries. Problem is, as your ligaments were damaged, the won't be equal in length and flexibility compared with the other leg, so in the future you will see that the hurt ankle won't be as flexible as the other. And not to mention the casual pain on weather change etc. The secret of this kind of injuries is to rest the ankle for some weeks and than immediately start therapy. I was lucky to know a person who was dealing with this kind of injuries on everyday basis (basketball team therapist) so I ditched the doctor's advices to have a cast on the whole leg for 1-2 months, which will be catastrophic for the flexibility of your ligaments.

Good luck and wish you speedy recovery.
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:35
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

You may be able to get medical attention and have them bill you later....I'm sure you can phone around to the hospital and/or a local doctor and ask them what a suitable process is in your situation - I'm sure there's a system for this...

Don't mess with it - get proper medical attention - the sooner the better - the last thing you need is for them to have to re-break something in order to line it up again properly
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:37
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Hi,

Many months ago, I fell down several stairs in my basement. I fell directly onto my ankle.
I waited several days but the pain was unbearable.
After going to the doctor, I was told all that could be applied my ankle (not broken, some pulled ligaments) was a cold pack and a brace (for support). I obtained these things from the pharmacy.

Good luck with the healing!
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:51
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

If you are in process of registering and have just not yet gotten around to getting insurance, then your insurance will be back dated to your registration date and this incident will normally be covered.
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Old 19.08.2011, 18:57
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Ok, first off I am NOT a doctor, nor do I have an medical experience but from
what you describe, the excessively swollen ankle and the 5 inch long bruise, I don't think you can exclude a fracture of some sort.

If it is a fracture that subsequently goes untreated then it could cause you problems for the rest of your life, so get yourself to a doctor - finances can
always be dealt with and overcome later, and as you say you have insurance this shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:04
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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If you are in process of registering and have just not yet gotten around to getting insurance, then your insurance will be back dated to your registration date and this incident will normally be covered.
The OP needs to tick the 'accident insurance box' if they are not working. If they are working they will have NBUV.
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:24
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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The OP needs to tick the 'accident insurance box' if they are not working. If they are working they will have NBUV.
You know I forgot about the accident insurance. This should go under THAT insurance & accident insurance should be supplied by the employer. Didn't the OP say in another thread he would be working at the EPFL? They most certainly should have sorted that out for him.
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:24
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Hi,

I sprained my ankle a few months ago...

I had to go to the emergency, out-of-hours walk in centre. I had an examination, an ex-ray, they gave me a support and crutches.

That all cost chf 518.15. This included buying the crutches outright (I think they were chf60). The other option was to rent them from the pharmacy on a daily basis, but I wasn't sure how long I'd need them.

Then I had to go to my doctor for a 4 week check-up. That cost chf 57.15.

I also had 9 physio sessions... don't know how much that was, because it gets billed directly to the insurance company.

And my physio said that a sprained ankle takes up to a year to recover, and needs treatment or there can be negative repercussions in the future.

Hope that helps.

I'm in Vaud by the way. Your location is still Quebec...
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:28
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

I recently injured my hand and thought it was just bruised o left it to heal on its own. Nine days later it still hurt so I went to the Dr and found out it was broken. As I had left it so long it couldnt be fixed properly as it had already started healing etc.

Get it seen to ASAP.
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:28
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Don't you have a card for your Canadian Travel Insurance with an emergency number to ring for advice? Most insurances do. Bonne chance>
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:31
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

Yes, accident insurance....use it!!!!

If you don't have accident insurance here, I would suggest the extended bill will be in the low 1000s for full treatment depending on how bad the injury. You may even find that using your home country's (Canada?) might be cheaper with the cost of the flight back home to get it sorted out.

Remember that if you are working over 8 hours a week you legally must have accident insurance.
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:43
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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You know I forgot about the accident insurance. This should go under THAT insurance & accident insurance should be supplied by the employer. Didn't the OP say in another thread he would be working at the EPFL? They most certainly should have sorted that out for him.
If you are an employee at EPFL (even if your funding is from an external source) you have accident insurance through SUVA, and all accident charges are 100% covered. Your administrative assistant will help you with the paperwork, you can sort this out on Monday.

In the meantime, I'd recommend you visit one of the walk-in clinics in Lausanne, there is a list of them on the EPFL website. Vidy-Med or Flon generally are both quite easy to get to from St. Sulpice.

I'm also at EPFL, and I recently visited the clinic in Flon following a cycling accident and had all treatment (including x-rays) completed within 45 minutes, and EPFL took care of all the paperwork and bills.

Bonne guérison, and maybe see you around?

Heather
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:43
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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Remember that if you are working over 8 hours a week you legally must have accident insurance.
It has to be with the same employer & every week, I am someone that if I earn a lot of money 2 months running don't have accident insurance!
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Old 19.08.2011, 19:54
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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It has to be with the same employer & every week, I am someone that if I earn a lot of money 2 months running don't have accident insurance!
In that case you should really set it up through your health insurance. That's how I had mine because I was "self employed".
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Old 19.08.2011, 20:05
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

I was not employed when my health insurance was set up - accident insurance was compulsory with my basic. When I became employed, I had to show evidence from my employer that they covered me, and then the health insurance took it off the monthly bill...

You might find that you do have accident insurance with your basic cover - and getting basic is compulsory from date of entry, backdated...so if you are living/working here and registered at the Gemeinde, they will be following you up to make sure you have the insurance organised...
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Old 19.08.2011, 20:19
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

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In that case you should really set it up through your health insurance. That's how I had mine because I was "self employed".
If I work 'self employed' or do no work I am insured by the RAV for at least the next 30 days. I usually work as an employee for a day or 2 with multiple employers in different cantons. Of the 10 companies I worked for last year 1 company in GE & 1 company in ZH paid accident insurance.

Accident insurance from RAV or an employer covers loss or earnings as well as medical bills, a health insurance co just covers the medical bills.

The RAV claimed I was insured, then their lawyer thought about and said I was insured some of the time but could not be sure if I was really insured all the time or not! It's complicicated by the fact if I work 4 days it counts as being 100% employed as far as the RAV is concerned.
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Old 20.08.2011, 18:10
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

UPDATE.
Just back from the medical clinic.
Saw the doc.
They took x-rays.
Nothing is broken.
Should take 3 to 6 weeks to heal completely.
They gave me some prescription for an anti-inflsmmatory.
They want to see me again friday.
They will then give me a brace and schedule some physiotherapy.

Total cost for today: 299 CHF.
I called my Canadian travel insurance and they will cover everything.
Yet, I am upset about one thing;
The 299 CHF includes some 110 CHF due to the fact
that I went to the clinic outside the normal hours.
They should have told me on the phone when I called.
I would have gone during normal hours.

Now I'm wondering if I really need to go back.
I'm wondering if I really need physio.
Sure, my insurance will pay.
But I hate wasting time for something I'm not sure I need.
I can do stretching exercices on my own!
I can tape my ankle instead of putting on a brace.
And this is in agreement with what I have read on many websites.
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Old 20.08.2011, 18:15
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Re: The cost of a sprained ankle...

I thought that was a poem!

However, whilst agreeing that you should have been warned about the surcharge for attending outside of normal hours, at least your insurance company are going to reimburse you. If they will pick up all the associated costs then I would strongly recommend that you have the physio. These things can come back to haunt you in the future ... and I am speaking from experience after suffering injuries to both knees, and that was even after having had extensive physio.
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