What is an Ankle Sprain?
A sprained ankle is the most common ankle injury in sport. An ankle sprain refers to soft tissue damage to the ligaments around the ankle joint. Typically this ankle ligament damage is characterised by ankle pain and a swollen ankle. A minor sprain is when a ligament is stretched or partially torn. In severe sprains the ligament is completely torn. Sometimes the end of the bone to which a ligament is attached can crack.
What are the symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?
When the ankle is sprained, there is sometimes a snapping or popping sound and a feeling of “giving way” as a ligament is torn or bone cracked. A sprain can be very painful, with the pain getting worse when you move your ankle. With a severe sprain, you may not be able to bear weight on the leg. There may be swelling and bruising around the ankle. Swelling happens soon after the injury but bruising can take up to 24 hours to fully develop. The swelling around the ankle can make it difficult to move the foot, and the ankle may feel unstable.
What are the causes of an Ankle Sprain?
Half of all ankle sprains happen during sport. They are especially common in sports that involve running and jumping, landing from a jump, fast changes in direction or lots of stop-starts (such as football, basketball and volleyball). The most common type of ankle sprain is when the foot turns inwards, overstretching the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
What should I do if I have an Ankle Sprain?
You should seek an assessment with a podiatrist or a physiotherapist promptly to ensure the problem is managed correctly. Ice should be applied to the area immediately after the injury to reduce swelling and redness. Elevating the ankle will help the body absorb fluid that has leaked into the tissue.
What shouldn’t I do if I have an Ankle Sprain?
It is important not to do any weight bearing activity. By resting, no further injury is caused and ensures no stress is placed on already inflamed tissue.
Could there be any long term effects of an Ankle Sprain?
Most ankle sprains heal without complications or difficulty.
Podiatry treatment for an Ankle Sprain
Advice regarding self treatment at home will be given, as well as information on when it is sensible to restart training.
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