Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries to the lower limb. They can vary in severity from “ouchy” and a bit sore to walk on, to requiring surgery for fractured bones or ligament reconstruction for instability.
Most of us at some time have “rolled” our ankle (lateral ankle sprain) and been a bit "hobbly" for a few days. The first thing to do when you roll your ankle is PRICE – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
If you cannot weight bear at all, an X-ray can be a good idea to exclude a fracture. If you roll your ankle and it’s not settling quickly we recommend you see a physiotherapist promptly. A qualified Physiotherapist can assess the stability of your ankle and help diagnose the severity of the injury.
Less common than the lateral ankle sprain is the high ankle sprain or Syndesmosis injury. This commonly occurs when the foot is planted and a large rotation force is applied to the ankle. This can cause an injury to the syndesmosis (thick, fibrous tissue between the tibia and fibula bones). Both injuries require different treatment, so an accurate diagnosis is important.
One of the most common things physiotherapists hear, is people complaining of a weak ankle or recurrent ankle sprains. This is usually due to one of two things; - a poorly managed unstable ankle that wasn’t given the correct treatment at the time of injury and now has some ligament laxity. - poor proprioception (see our previous blog on proprioception) from regular injuries and inadequate retraining of the sensory component of the ankle joint.
“Weak ankles” can usually be significantly improved with the correct exercises and management, and occasionally surgery.
Here at Medowie Family and Sports Physio, we have extensive knowledge of ankle injuries and can assist in guiding you to improved ankle function.