Ankle sprains come in all different forms. They are the most common injury I see to the lower limb in clinic. As the ankle is a very complex joint there are different types of ankle sprain as different ligaments can be sprained depending on the direction of the injury
Ankle ligaments commonly sprained:
The main ligaments in the ankle that are often sprained in order of commonality are:
The Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament (ATFL)
The Lateral collateral ligament - the calcareo-fibular ligament
The medial collateral ligament - the deltoid Ligament
The Posterior talo-fibulae ligament
The different types of ankle sprain:
Most common ankle sprain = Inversion ankle sprain, which means rolling over the outside of the ankle and damaging the ligaments on the outside - most commonly the ATFL and Lateral collateral ligament, the calcaneo-fibular ligament.
Second most common = A high ankle sprain of the tibial-fibular ligament
Lastly = the Eversion sprain that damages the medial collateral ligament, the deltoid ligament
How to diagnose an ankle sprain
An Ankle sprained my be confirmed by a scan. Common symptoms will include swelling, pain and bruising. Taking a detailed history will help you identify the mechanism of injury, which will assist your diagnosis.
A ligament sprain comes in these common classifications:
Grade 1 - mild - a small portion of fibres torn
Grade 2 - moderate - a larger portion of fibres torn
Grade 3 - severe - almost all fibres torn
Rupture - completely torn
How long will and ankle sprain take to recover?
Depending on the severity of the sprain it can take as little as two weeks for a grade 1 tear. If the ankle ligaments have been completely ruptured and surgery is required this can take considerably longer
What can I do now?
If you have sprained your ankle the first thing to do is:
Rest, Ice and Elevate the ankle
Book in an assessment with your physio
Begin your graded rehabilitation plan
What will my rehab involve?
There will be exercises to:
Regain the mobility and strength in the ankle
Work on the balance and proprioception
A gradual return to previous level of activity
A gradual increase in impact and loading
If you think you may have sprained your ankle, or if your ankle is in pain, book in to see your physiotherapist for an assessment and treatment.