I’ve Sprained my ANKLE
The ankle ligament sprain is an extremely common injury in sport. Aussie rules, netball, basketball and the weekend warrior exposes the ankle to extreme pressure. With the demands of these sports its not uncommon we can sustain an ankle injury.
The most common ankle ligament sprain is a lateral (outside of leg) ligament sprain. The most common cause is the foot rolling outwards on a change of direction or standing on an opponent’s foot and sustaining the same mechanism of injury.
There are 3 thin ligaments on the outside of our ankle as compared to a strong broad fanned like ligament on the inside of our foot. Its not surprising then, that the foot rolls commonly outwards affecting these lateral ligaments. There are 3 Grades of ligament injury ranging from a minor Grade 1 to a complete rupture Grade 3. Grades 1 and 2 respond well to conservative treatment whilst a Grade 3 unfortunately requires surgery followed by intense physio rehabilitation.
An untreated simple Grade 1 or more complicated Grade 2 injury can often go untreated. The problem with this is that the ligament will heal in the new stretched torn length, thereby giving the ankle more laxity and resulting in an unstable ankle. This can be problematic now but more importantly can result in osteoarthritis later in life. This is the main reason why treatment is required as we need to prevent these irreversible secondary changes that can be problematic later in life.
Treatment not only incorporates hands on treatment but more importantly formulating a specific exercise program for the athlete to perform at home.