What is an ankle sprain?
Have you ever “gone over” on your ankle?
Suddenly slip and feel your ankle give way?
Have you suffered from bruising or swelling around the outside of your ankle?
Do you feel your ankle is weak or stiff at times?
If so, you have probably suffered from an Ankle Sprain. There are two type of ankle sprains, Medial (inside of your ankle) Ankle Sprain and a Lateral (outside of your ankle) Ankle Sprain.
A Lateral Ankle Sprain is the most common, where you feel the outside of your ankle roll outwards on itself very rapidly causing the ligaments on the outside to become over stretched and possibly tear.
The Ligaments most affected are;
- Anterior Talofibular Ligament – ATFL
- Calcaneofibular Ligament – CFL
- Posterior Talofibular Ligament – PTFL
The ATFL is most commonly injured, but it is important to also assess the retinacula, sinus tarsi and syndesmosis ligament, which also lie very closely together. These structures are often overlooked and can cause delayed healing during the rehab process, if overlooked.
Recent research has shown that the retinacula contains sensory tissue for proprioception. This is why you may feel unstable, weakness in the ankle when walking or off balance after injury.
Due to the vulnerability of the ATFL, it is often re-injured without noticing. It is the second most common injury in sports, particularly basketball, rugby and football. 70% of patients will have a recurrence of injury if they go untreated which means increased time away from their sport.
Other causes of ankle pain, which might go undiagnosed are;
- Ankle impingement
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
- Peroneal Tendinopathy/ Tendinosis
Special tests are carried out by your Qualified Podiatrist to ensure correct diagnosis. Therapy maybe required to get you back on your feet and fully able to return to sport. Exercises rehab and muscle strengthening is at the core of our rehab.
There is always a possibility of chronic ankle instability as a result of injury. This has shown to occur in 20% of patients who do not seek appropriate treatment to achieve full muscle stability the lower leg along with postural control.