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  • Writer's pictureBen

Have you Sprained your ankle?

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.

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