Hello and welcome to this episode in sports podatry. Today we’ll be talking about ankle sprains that cause pain and swelling. There are many structures on the outside of the ankle that can become painful and inflamed. These usually include ligaments, the peroneal muscles and bones. With ligaments, these connect bone to bone and can become stretched and inflamed. Muscles, including the peroneal muscles can over fire and become problematic as well. Bones can become painful with avulsion fractures in the area.
lateral ankle sprains usually happen when you’re rolling your ankle to the outside, which can happen from stepping on someone’s foot, uneven surfaces, and side-to-side motion. Unfortunately lateral ankle sprains tend to cause further ankle sprains because lateral ankle ligaments and structures can become weak, loose, or lose their proprioceptive ability. Proprioception is a big part of why lateral ankle sprains can reoccur and can be seen as one of the biggest risk factors for reoccurring ankle sprains and ongoing pain. Proprioceptive ability is basically the ankle’s balancing mechanism and can basically work to protect the lateral ankle ligaments and structures by feeding back to your brain about the ankle’s positioning in regards to space.
In this short term clinical assessments and treatments should be focusing around assessing the extent of damage in the surrounding tissues to the joint and then further preventing any further injury or further inflammation to the area. Generally speaking, if the ankle sprain is severe, then offloading techniques should be used. These can range from footwear modifications, bracing, strapping, orthotics, or even cam boots or crutches if your ankle’s sprain is severe enough. Clinical assessments are usually done within the chair and can include x-ray, ultrasound, or even MRI.
Unfortunately without proper rehab and proper treatments around ankle sprains, they tend to be really, really common to cause further pain and further reinjury as well. Long term treatment plans around lateral ankle sprains should basically start as soon as the pain and swelling has decreased from the initial trauma and should focus around any potential deficits that you might have when it comes to a possible risk for reinjury. This can include basically treating any deficits in strength, any deficits in flexibility, any deficits in proprioceptive ability, which is again back to that whole balancing mechanism situation. Generally once these factors can be addressed, risk factors for reinjury should go back down to a relatively normal level.
Proper treatment around lateral ankle sprains is very important. Often lateral ankle instability and ongoing pain can become a longterm issue for particularly our sporting patients around this particular injury. Today information provided has been of a general nature and if you feel like you have a particular concern, please book in online.