An ankle sprain occurs when the foot is forcefully twisted or rolled to one side (inward or outward). This most commonly occurs with the foot rolling inward, resulting in damage to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. These ligaments become overstretched and may tear.
- Crutches required if difficulty walking or walking with abnormal gait
- Bracing ankle (especially when returning to sport and in early stages when walking) – bracing minimum 6 weeks with benefits up to 6 months
- Self-mobilisations / stretching/ strength program as prescribes by physiotherapist
Professional Medical Treatments
- Surgery required only if ligaments are completely ruptured (usually more than one ligament)
- Walking boot may be required
Physical Therapy Exercises
- Ankle mobilisation to ensure joints restore to full range of motion
- Soft tissue massage through muscles that become tight as a compensation strategy for stability + to alleviate pooled swelling
- Strength and proprioception (joint position awareness) exercises to restore function and prevent re-injury (these often include calf raises, squats, resisted ankle theraband exercises, single-leg balance exercises, stretches and mobility exercises to self-manage
- Eventual return to high level exercises including bounding / jumping / directional changes and sports drills
- 40% of first time ankle sprains will result in chronic ankle instability.
- Dynamic balance training
- Strengthening stabilizing muscles around the ankle