Ankle sprains frequently occur with sports activity where the foot twists inwards (inversion) and the lateral ligament is damaged. Sometimes this injury can result in a rupture of the ligament. The initial s
ymptoms are pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty with weight bearing
Ankle sprains are often graded from l to lll , being mild, moderate and severe. Mild and moderate sprains usually respond to conservative treatment that includes non weight bearing, rest, ice, elevation, joint mobilisation and taping or bracing.
There is no consensus in the literature regarding the role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors involved in lateral ankle ligament sprains. However there is evidence to support the use of bracing to reduce the risk of further ankle sprains and the importance of restoring proprioception, strength and mobility to restore function following an ankle injury.
Ankle sprains usually take 2 to 6 weeks to resolve. Sometimes the ankle continues to cause pain and discomfort and this may require further investigation with X-RAy, MRI or CT scan.
About the author:
Dr Jan Naughton received her PhD at Sydney University where she was lecturing in Sports Medicine and undergraduate physiotherapy. She specialises in shoulder injuries and has a sports phyiotherapy practice in Wahroonga on Sydney's upper north shore working with two other specialist colleagues.