Ankle Sprain


An ankle sprain refers to a condition where one or multiple ligaments of the ankle experience a partial or complete tear. It’s a common injury, which is like an inversion. Lateral ligament injuries entail approximately 85% of every type of ankle sprain. Its incidence is highest in athletes or sportspersons. You’ll find that poor rehabilitation and procedure after an initial sprain spike the chances of a recurrence of the injury.

Regarding the pathological process of mechanism of ankle sprains, they usually occur during a sudden or rapid shift or movement of the body mass on your weight-bearing or landing foot. You’ll find how the ankle goes outward the foot rolls inward. It causes the lateral ligament to expand and tear. 

In the event of a ligament tearing or over-stretching, its original resilience and elasticity are most likely to not return. Several reports show that a greater plantarflexion level causes more sprain. A less common injury mechanism entails an eversion movement by force, which injures the strong deltoid ligament in the ankle.

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An ankle sprain refers to a condition where one or multiple ligaments of the ankle experience a partial or complete tear.

Symptoms of ankle sprain

A sprained ankle causes a lot of pain. The symptoms or signs vary in accordance with the magnitude of the injury. They are:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Bruising
  • In the event of severe tear in the ligaments, you may also feel or hear a pop every time the sprain occurs.
  • The ankle may experience instability. It may occur when there’s a complete tearing or damage in the ligament or in the event of the ankle joint’s complete dislocation.
  • Symptoms of a severe ankle sprain are similar to a fracture in the bone, necessitating prompt medical attention and evaluation.

Causes of ankle sprain

Concisely,an ankle sprain occurs when you force your ankle to move out or shift from its normal position. It can cause one or more ligaments in the ankle to stretch.The main causes are:

  • A fall that leads to the twisting of the ankle.
  • If you land awkwardly or suddenly on your foot after pivoting or jumping.
  • Exercising or walking on an uneven surface
  • There's someone landing or stepping on your foot in the middle of a sports activity. It causes the foot to roll or twist towards the side.
  • Participation in sports that call for twisting or rolling of the foot orcutting actions of the same region. These sports are soccer, football, tennis,basketball, and trail running.

When to see a physiotherapist 

Differential diagnosis is a very important content. The Ottawa Ankle Clinical Prediction Rules are a comprehensive and accurate tool for excluding fractures in the first week of the ankle sprain. 

You need to undergo a series of x-rays of the ankle only if there’s a pain in the malleolar zone and if the results show bone tenderness at both point A and point B. You need to see a doctor if there’s an inability or difficulty in carrying weight both in the emergency department and immediately. 

You need a foot x-ray only if you experience pain in the midfoot, along with findings that show bone tenderness at point C and point D.


Risks and complications of ankle sprain

You can use the technique for treating the thoracic spine. It’s also effective in treating hip bursitis, myofascial hip pain, hip impingement, and post-surgery hip You need to underline certain factors that increase the likelihood of an ankle sprain. These are

  • Participation in sports::

Ankle sprains are very common in sports like trail running, tennis, and soccer.

  • Uneven surfaces:

Running or even walking on poor field conditions or uneven surfaces may increase the overall risk of this sprain.

  • Poor Physical condition:

Poor flexibility or strength in the ankles can increase the possibility of ankle sprain, especially during sports activities.

  • The wrong/improper shoes:

There are shoes that aren’t appropriate for certain activities. They don’t fit properly and can make your ankles more susceptible to injury. The high-heeled shoes are a prominent example in this regard.

  • Nursing an ankle injury:

If you already have an ankle injury or are nursing any other type of injury in the same part,you’re more likely to injure or sprain it once again.

  • The complications include failing to diagnose and treat your ankle in the right way.
  • You mustn’t engage in activities right after spraining the ankle as it might cause complications like chronic ankle pain, arthritis in the joints of the ankle, and instability in the ankle joint.

How to prevent ankle sprain?

You can follow these tips to help prevent a recurring ankle sprain or an injured ankle

  • Warm-up before playing sports or exercising.
  • Be careful while working, running, or even walking on an uneven and irregular surface.
  • Wear dedicated shoes for your activity. Make sure they fit well with your sports.
  • Use a dedicated ankle tape or support brace on a previously injured or weak ankle.
  • Stop wearing or minimize the use high-heels as much as possible
  • Try to maintain good muscle strength along with flexibility.
  • Don’t take part in activities or play sports for which you don’t have the right conditioning. 
  • It’s important top ractice holding and stability training, which includes balance exercises.

Treatment of ankle sprain

Th etreatment depends on your ankle sprain’s severity. The main goals are to minimize pain and swelling, and foster healing of the damaged ligament. The end goal is restoration of the ankle’s functionality. 

If the injuries are severe, your doctor may refer you to a musculoskeletal expert like an orthopaedic surgeon or a physical medicine expert and specialist in proper rehabilitation. To ensure self-care and recovery, the RICE approach is clinical for the initial one to three days. It involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Related conditions

A sprained ankle involves the tearing and stretching of your ankle ligaments,which anchor or support the joint. They connect the bones with one another.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about medications?
In most cases, you have over-the-counter medicines/pain relievers to manage the pain emanating from an ankle sprain. The medicines are Advil, Aleve, Motrin IB, and others.
Are there any devices?
Since it might be painful to walk with a sprained ankle, you may need to utilize crutches.

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