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ANKLE SPRAIN

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ligaments connecting the bones of the ankle joint are stretched or torn. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that help stabilise and support the joint, and when they are subjected to excessive force, such as twisting or rolling of the ankle, they can become damaged.

WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

 

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when the ligaments connecting the bones of the ankle joint are stretched or torn. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that help stabilise and support the joint, and when they are subjected to excessive force, such as twisting or rolling of the ankle, they can become damaged.

Ankle sprains are often classified into three grades based on the severity of the injury:

  1. Grade 1: In a mild sprain, the ligaments are stretched but not torn. There might be some mild pain, swelling, and tenderness around the ankle.

  2. Grade 2: A moderate sprain involves partial tearing of the ligaments. This can lead to more significant pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight on the affected ankle.

  3. Grade 3: A severe sprain results in a complete tear of the ligaments. This type of sprain can cause severe pain, swelling, bruising, and considerable instability in the ankle joint, making it difficult or impossible to bear weight.

Ankle sprains can occur during activities that involve sudden changes in direction, awkward landings, or twisting motions, such as sports, running, or simply stepping on an uneven surface. Proper diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent further complications and promote healing.

What are the symptoms an Ankle Sprain?

The symptoms of an ankle sprain can vary depending on the severity of the injury.

 

Common symptoms include:

  1. Pain: Ankle pain is typically felt immediately after the injury and can range from mild discomfort to intense pain, depending on the severity of the sprain.

  2. Swelling: Swelling around the ankle joint is a common sign of a sprain. The affected area may become visibly swollen and feel puffy to the touch.

  3. Bruising: Bruising or discoloration can occur due to blood vessels being damaged during the injury. The bruising may spread over time.

  4. Tenderness: The area around the injured ligaments can be sensitive to touch, and there might be a localized point of tenderness.

  5. Stiffness: Ankle sprains can lead to stiffness in the joint, making it difficult to move the ankle without discomfort.

  6. Instability: In more severe cases, there might be a feeling of instability in the ankle, as if the joint is "giving way" or not providing proper support.

  7. Difficulty bearing weight: Depending on the severity of the sprain, it might be challenging or painful to put weight on the affected ankle.

  8. Restricted range of motion: The injured ankle might have limited movement due to pain and swelling, making it difficult to flex, point, or rotate the foot.

It's important to note that these symptoms can overlap with those of other ankle injuries, such as fractures, so seeking proper medical evaluation is crucial to accurately diagnose the injury and determine the appropriate course of treatment. If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, especially if the pain is severe, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper assessment and guidance on how to manage the injury.

How can you treat Ankle Sprain?

Treatment often involves rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), along with pain management, immobilisation with a brace or cast, and physical therapy to regain strength and stability in the ankle. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair severely torn ligaments or associated damage.

 

The appropriate course of treatment for an ankle sprain depends on the severity of the injury.

 

Here are some general guidelines for treating ankle sprains:

  1. Rest: Give your ankle time to heal by avoiding activities that put stress on the injured area. Resting the ankle allows the damaged ligaments to repair themselves.

  2. Ice: Applying ice to the injured area can help reduce swelling and pain. Use an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth for about 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours during the initial 48 hours after the injury.

  3. Compression: Wrapping the ankle with an elastic bandage can help control swelling and provide some support to the injured area. Make sure not to wrap the bandage too tightly, as this can cause additional discomfort.

  4. Elevation: Elevating the injured ankle above the level of the heart when resting can help reduce swelling. Prop your ankle up on pillows or cushions whenever possible.

  5. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Always follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about using these medications.

  6. Immobilisation: Depending on the severity of the sprain, your healthcare provider might recommend using a brace, splint, or crutches to immobilise the ankle and prevent further strain while it heals.

  7. Physical Therapy: As the initial pain and swelling subside, gentle exercises and stretches prescribed by a therapist can help restore strength, flexibility, and stability to the injured ankle.

  8. Gradual Return to Activity: Once your ankle has healed sufficiently and you've regained strength and mobility, gradually reintroduce weight-bearing activities and sports. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider's guidance to avoid re-injury.

  9. Surgery (if necessary): In rare cases, severe ankle sprains that involve significant ligament damage might require surgical intervention to repair or reconstruct the ligaments.

It's essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan. If you experience severe pain, inability to bear weight on the ankle, or any signs of a more serious injury, such as a fracture, it's important to seek medical attention promptly. Self-treatment is generally appropriate only for mild sprains, while moderate to severe sprains should be evaluated by a medical professional to ensure proper care and prevent complications. 

THINK YOU MAY HAVE AN ANKLE SPRAIN?
GET BOOKED IN FOR A BIOMECHANICS APPOINTMENT

£105.00

 

Our team will conduct a full assessment including medical history, foot & lower limb posture, strength & motion tests, gait assessment using pressure plate system, and treatment plan discussion. Following your assessment and review of your medical history, this appoint may suitable to diagnose an treat conditions in the list above.

For this appointment it is important to have the appropriate medical history as this will allow our podiatrists to identify and treat the problem more effectively. If you have any previous GP refferal notes, scans or test results please bring these with you.

You will need the following for your appointment:

A pair of shorts. A selection of footwear, 1 to 3 pairs of shoes (footwear you wear daily/ and or your sporting footwear).

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