A podiatrist with blue gloves is holding a patient's foot for assessment

Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains

What is an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains are arguably the most frequent sporting injury. They can indicate damage to multiple structures of the ankle including ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bone. The mechanism of injury is usually an inversion sprain (foot rolled out), and it is likely that the same ankle will be sprained multiple times.

Ankle Sprain Assessment

Your Podiatrist will assess the ankle sprain and determine the grading of the sprain.  Grading is useful to confirm the severity, and to establish appropriate treatment protocols.  You may be referred for imaging depending on the severity of the sprain.

A podiatrist is assessing a bruised ankel

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Initial Treatment

  • RICER protocol to decrease inflammation (rest, ice compression, elevation, referral)
  • Immobilisation (CAM walker, Aircast, taping) 

Further Treatment

  • Gradual return to weight-bearing
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Soft tissue therapy and mobilisation to decrease pain and swelling
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Increase proprioception (with balance board or mini-tamp)
An athlete with a strapped ankle does balance exercises

Preventing Ankle Sprain

Simple ways to avoid ankle sprains are:

  • Taping ankles before sport or using an ankle brace 
  • Stretching and strengthening of muscles acting on the ankle joint
  • Improving proprioception (with balance board or mini-tramp)

As mentioned above, due to the anatomical complexity of the ankle joint, there are many structures that can be affected.

This can lead to conditions such as: medial ligament injuries, Pott’s fracture, Maisonneuve fracture, osteochondral lesion of the talus.

There is often a biomechanical abnormality of the foot or leg leading to recurrent ankle sprains such as hypermobility or a supinated foot type. If this is the case, we may discuss footwear options specific for your foot type and you may benefit from custom orthotics.

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