How to Tape an Ankle

Introduction: How to Tape an Ankle

Warning: If you are not trained to wrap ankles, you should seek a medical professional. In the case of an emergency, you may need to attempt to wrap the ankle yourself. Only attempt to take over where a medical professional is needed if you are in a serious situation, as you may cause further harm. (MAKE SURE TO READ INSTRUCTIONS WORD FOR WORD)

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

Plan to have these three things ahead of time, the wrong materials may lead to further injury.

  1. Pre-wrap. Pre-wrap acts a barrier between the skin and the tape.
  2. Athletic tape. Athletic tape is the main structural component used when wrapping ankles.
  3. Gauze. Gauze pads protect against blisters caused by friction and chafing
  4. (optional) Tuff Skin Spray. Prevents pre-wrap from slipping

Step 2: Step 2: Position the Patients Ankle

Ask the patient to sit someplace sturdy where their foot can be elevated and extended. The foot should be flexed upright at a 90 degree angle and should not be moved throughout the duration of the tape job.

Step 3: Step 3: Apply Gauze Pad

Place the gauze pads on the outside of the ankle (heel). The gauze will prevent blisters under ankle tape. When applying gauze, think about the points where your shoe meets your foot. This is where blisters are the most likely occur due to wrapping. (In emergency situations, gauze is not necessary)

Step 4: Step 4: Wrap Ankle With Pre-Wrap

Begin wrapping pre-wrap at the mid-foot and continue wrapping until you reach the end of the calf muscle. Cover the foot and ankle entirely in order to prevent the tape from sticking to the skin. This will provide a barrier between the tape and the skin, as well as an additional layer of support.

Step 5: Step 5: Apply Tape Anchors

Put one to three “anchor” strips at each end point of the pre-wrap. Place one around the arch of the foot, where the lower portion of the pre-wrap ends. Each consecutive strip should overlap. Be careful to not wrap too tight, to allow blood circulation to the foot.

Step 6: Step 6: Attach Tape Stirrups

Apply three overlapping stirrups, beginning on the inside of the ankle and working to the outside of the ankle. These stirrups will be "U" shaped strips. Start stirrups at the top anchor, pull tape down under the heel, around the foot, and back up the other side.

Step 7: Step 7: Apply Horseshoe Strips

Apply horseshoes from either side of the foot, back around the achilles tendon, to the opposite side of the foot. Horseshoe tape wrappings stabilize the stirrups and add extra support to the ankle.

Step 8: Step 8: Heel Lock

Starting at the top center of the foot, a heel lock starts on one side of the foot, wrap around the heel, and then are taped back on the side you began from. Four are applied in alternation, two on each side of the foot.

Step 9: Step 9: Figure "8"

Apply the tape in two figure eight patterns on each side of the ankle.. Start at the top of the foot where the foot connects with the ankle, take the tape under the foot, back up, and around the back of the ankle. The tape should end up where you started it.

Step 10: Step 10: Tape Up With Horizontal Strips

Wrap ankle from top to bottom with anchor strips. These are meant to fully cover the pre-wrap. This helps to hold all the different pieces of tape together. It also helps to add additional stability and closes up the wrap. (Warning: have caution when applying final strips, these can be too tight and cause ankle to loose circulation) Please seek medical help after completing ankle taping.

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    4 years ago

    Excellent structable. This old dog learned a new trick. I'm part of my community C.E.R.T (Civilian Emergency Response Team) We did practice bandaging for upper body injuries. Head, arm, ribs, etc. Your instructable would be a great enclusion for our training, I will pass it along. Thank you so much.
    p. s. is it better to have painted toe nails ?? LOL


    4 years ago

    Very good instructions, the arrows are a great trick for showing how to properly do this. Nicely done!