Ankle Sprain Injury

Most of you may have experienced a minor ankle sprain sometime in your life, and some of you may even experienced more severe ankle sprains. An ankle sprain may be a result of a sporting injury, accident, weak ankles or poor footwear. No matter what the cause is, always carry out a proper first aid protocol (regardless of the severity of the injury). Because for a bad ankle sprain that involves fracturing the bone, delayed or improper first aid can affect the healing and cause more long term problems or permanent damage. For minor ankle sprains, a proper first aid can speed up your recovery as well as get you back into exercise faster. The first aid protocol for ankle sprain is “PRICEmobility

P– Protect (protect the injured ankle for further damage, e.g strapping/ brace/ air boot  depend on the severity of injury)
R– Rest (or immobilise the injured ankle to prevent further damage)
I– Ice (ice the area about 20mins and repeat few times during the day, this will help the pain and reduce the inflammation)
C-Compression (compression stocking or brace to reduce swelling and immobilise the injured ankle)
E-Elevation (reduce swelling which will reduce the pressure on the damaged ankle)

How bad is it ?

Grading system for ankle sprains/ruptures and healing time frame

    • Grade 1: 2-3 weeks (Partial tear of ligament, strength of ankle is maintained).
    • Grade 2: 4-6 weeks (Partial/complete tear of ligament, 2nd ligament also involved).
    • Grade 3: Varies significantly from 2-6 months (depending if surgery is required).

How can a podiatrist help you ?

      • Controls early pain and inflammation
      • Refer for medical imaging – x-ray/ultrasound
      • Protect the ankle joint – strapping, braces or crutches
      • Re-strengthen the muscles – design a muscle strengthening program to prevent muscle weakness and maintain muscle strength
      • Re-educate the sensory receptors to achieve complete functional return to exercise activity.
    • Footwear advice and correct any alignment issues

Ankle sprains are probably one of the most common lower limb injuries, if an acute or chronic sprain is left not treated, repeated ankle sprains may occur. Repeated sprains may be more severe than the first, and cause an even more significant injury. If you suffer from chronic or repeated ankle sprains, see a podiatrist, podiatrists can help you prevent the condition from becoming chronic or recurrent.

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