Ankle sprains are extremely common and can happen when you least expect it. They can happen when playing sport, trying to walk on uneven ground, wearing high heels or even just rushing to get somewhere. You can sprain your ankle at any time when the ligaments connecting your foot to your ankle are stretched. This can lead to a tear or even a fracture. Unfortunately often ankle sprains are misdiagnosed and not immobilised early enough and this can lead to long term ankle instability making you more likely to sprain the ankle again. This is why it is important to have ankle sprains assessed, treated and rehabilitated properly.
Most of the time ankle sprains will happen when you roll the ankle inwards. This tends to affect the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. This is called an inversion sprain and can affect one or all three of the lateral ankle ligaments. This most commonly affects the anterio-talofibular ligament. It is important to have this assessed properly. Assessment can involve imaging such as xray, ultrasound and MRI to rule out a fracture or even a tear.
Treatment can involve immobilisation (via the use of a cam walker) or may warrant an ankle brace. It is important that following this type of injury you see a Podiatrist for rehabilitation which involves proprioception re-training, strengthening and stretching.
If you suspect that you've sprained or fractured your ankle make sure to schedule an appointment with a Podiatrist sooner rather than later. It is important to have these injuries diagnosed early to ensure you are properly diagnosed and receive a comprehensive plan for treatment to suit the level of your injury.