Ankle Sprains

What are ankle sprains?

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries that occur in physically active individuals. Ankle sprains are most commonly caused when the ligaments are overstretched or torn. The two main types of ankle injuries either occur on the medial (on the inside of your ankle) or the lateral (outside of your ankle).

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

Depending on the severity of the ankle injury one or more of the symptoms can occur:

  • Pain
  • Bruising to the top or side of the foot
  • Swelling
  • Unable to walk properly
  • A pop or a cracking sound when you injured your ankle
  • Painful to touch
  • Sharp deep pain in the ankle

How are ankle sprains graded?

  • Grade 1 Injuries involve the stretch of a ligament but only a small amount of swelling is present with no loss of joint instability. Patients can usually walk or partially walk.
  • Grade 2 Injuries involve the stretch of a ligament but with partial tearing, moderate to severe swelling, bruising and moderate loss of joint instability. Patients usually can not stand or walk on their feet due to the pain.
  • Grade 3 Injuries involve the stretch of a ligament but with complete rupture of the ligament with immediate and significant swelling, bruising, and severe instability of the joint. Often the patient cannot bare weight without experiencing severe pain.

How are ankle sprains treated?

Once assessed by your podiatrist a management plan will be implemented. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Cryotherapy (Ice)
  • Relative Rest
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Immobilisation
  • Crutches or a Cam Boot
  • Protective Mobilisation and regaining full range of motion
  • Scar tissue massage
  • Muscle Strength programs with a focus on proprioception and balance.
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