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Sprained or Twisted Ankle

What is a sprained ankle?

sprained ankle volleyball sports injuryThe most common type of ankle injury is a sprain. A sprain is stretching and tearing of ligaments. (You sprain a ligament and strain a muscle).

The most common damage done in an ankle sprain is to the talo-fibula ligament. If the injury is worse you might also damage the calcanao-fibula ligament. In addition to the ligament damage you could well have damaged tendons as well.

There are three degrees of ligament sprain:
First degree:

  • Some stretching or perhaps tearing of the ligament.
  • Little or no joint instability.
  • Mild pain
  • Little swelling
  • Some joint stiffness.

Second degree:

  • Some tearing of the ligament fibers
  • Moderate instability of the joint
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Swelling and stiffness

Third degree:

  • Total rupture of a ligament
  • Gross instability of the joint
  • Severe pain initially followed by no pain
  • Severe swelling

ankle sprain wrap cold press volleyball sports injuryWhat can the athlete do?

  • Aim to reduce the swelling by R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as soon as possible.
  • Protect the injured ankle by taping or a support (although do not rely on them for ever as this will weaken the joint).
  • Rest the injured ankle – use crutches if necessary – no weight bearing for 24 hours, longer if necessary.
  • See a sports injury specialist who can advise on rehabilitation including mobility, and strengthening.

What can a sports injury specialist do about it?

  • Prescribe anti inflammatory medication.
  • Reduce swelling by compression devices.
  • Use ultra sound and laser treatment.
  • Use cross friction massage
  • Prescribe a full rehabilitation program.