Ankle Injuries: Part II

Posted by SportsMed NQ, 24 March 2015

Lateral Ankle Sprains

Have you twisted or sprained your ankle? Did you get immediate swelling? Was it a fairly innocuous injury? What did you do immediately Ankle Part 2after an ankle sprain?

Here’s a quick refresher of what to do immediately post ankle injury and information on the most common ankle sprains that we regularly treat as physiotherapists.

From our previous article on Ankle Injuries: Part 1, you might remember that acute ankle injuries are fairly common and normally associated with sporting accidents, but you do not have to be an athlete to sustain a lateral ankle sprain. It can happen in old and young alike. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 25 000 people sprain their ankles every day. Rolling an ankle while participating in sports due to uneven ground or missing a step while walking across the road are just two examples of how someone can sustain an ankle injury.

What is the most common ankle sprain?

The most frequent ankle sprain is an inversion or lateral ankle sprain. These sprains are normally associated with injury to structures on the outside of the ankle.

The ankle joint consists of three main bones: the tibia (shin bone); the fibula (thin outer shin bone); and the talus (ankle and foot bone). These bones are stabilised by various ligaments or connective tissue that restricts excessive range of motion in your ankle joint. These ligaments are the main structures that get injured in a lateral ankle sprain.

What is a ligament? Ankle Part 2 #2

A ligament is a band of connective tissue that is made up of lots of individual fibres that join bones together to form a joint. They are an integral part to maintaining joint stability especially around the ankle.

What is a ligament?

A ligament is a band of connective tissue that is made up of lots of individual fibres that join bones together to form a joint. They are an integral part to maintaining joint stability especially around the ankle.

Grades of ligament injury

There are three grades of injury to these ankle ligaments which can be determined by your highly trained physiotherapist upon assessment.

Grade I: Mild ligament tear

Grade II: Moderate ligament tear

Grade III: Severe (complete rupture) ligament tear

What are the symptoms of a ligament tear?

Symptoms may vary following a ligament tear, but the majority of symptoms will include:

-          Sudden onset of pain

-          Severe swelling and inflammation

-          Bruising

-          Joint instability

-          Restricted range of motion

-          Poor function i.e. inability to walk or run

Ankle Part 2 #3If you have experienced any of these symptoms upon rolling your ankle, would like to find out more or have not fully recovered following a severe ankle sprain your physiotherapists at SportsMed NQ can help design a program to return to everyday functioning, occupation and sport dependent on the severity of your ankle sprain.

Have you returned to exercise following a New Year’s resolution? Or returned to pre-season soccer training? Or do you play basketball, netball or other highly dynamic sport and have an increased risk of spraining your ankle? If so, stay tuned for Ankle Injuries: Part III to find out the best course of action immediately following an ankle sprain.


Written By: Philippe Oei Phil

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