An ankle sprain is the stretching and tearing of ankle ligaments. The most common type is the inversion ankle sprain(lateral ankle sprain), in which the ankle rolls over on the outside. If the ankle sprain is severe, the tendons also get damaged. Ankle sprains are the most common injury to the ankle. Which can result in long term consequences,  commonly chronic ankle pain. The sprained ankle is often classified by its severity:

First degree ankle sprain:
  • Some stretching or mild tearing of the ligament. 
  • Little or no functional loss - the joint can still function and bear some weight (although still painful).
  • Mild pain, Some swelling and some  joint stiffness.
Second degree ankle sprain:
  • Some more severe tearing of the ligaments
    • Moderate instability of the joint 
    • Moderate to severe pain – weight-bearing is very painful,  Swelling and Stiffness
Third degree ankle sprain:
  • Total rupture of a ligament 
    • Gross instability of the joint - joint function is lost
    • Severe pain initially followed by no pain  
Common Causes
  • Anything that makes the ankle ‘roll outwards’ -  ie landing awkwardly, walking on uneven surface, twisting motions.
    • Poor rehabilitation of a previously sprained ankle
    • Poor proprioception (the sense of where a joint  is)
    • Weak muscles (they are just not strong enough to prevent the sprain occurring)
Treatment for Ankle Sprains
  • RICE: rest, ice, compression & elevation (icing 5 minutes on, 2 hours off, 15 minutes on), Neurofen as needed.
    • Incorporate ankle strengthening exercises into daily routine 
    • Increase proprioception by conducting single leg exercises on uneven surfaces
    • Gradual return to sport with strapping or bracing the ankle before sport once returned.
    • Check footwear for wear on the outside of the sole, If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics.

3rd degree sprains may require cast immobilization and possible surgery

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