What is a sprained ankle?

A sprained ankle is the most common type of ankle injury. A sprain is stretching and tearing of ligaments. (You sprain a ligament and strain a muscle).
The most common damage done in an sprained ankle is to the talo-fibula ligament . If the sprained ankle is worse you might also damage the calcanao-fibula ligament which is towards the back of the heel. In addition to the ligament damage you can also cause damage to tendons as well.                                                          
There are three degrees of a sprained ankle / 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 fibres
* 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

What can the athlete do for a sprained ankle?
* Aim to reduce the swelling by DR .ICE. (Diagnosis Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as soon as possible. Getting the diagnosis right from the start is important.
* Protect the injured ankle by taping or a support (although do not rely on them for ever as this may weaken the joint).
* Rest the injured ankle - use crutches if necessary - no weight bearing for 24 hours, but partial weight bearing as soon as pain will allow.
* 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 programme.
© 2005-2008. Barrie Spirit Soccer
Sprained  Ankle
We would like to thank Mike and www.sportsinjuryclinic.net for allowing us to publish this article on the Barrie Spirit Soccer website.
Please remember the information on this site is for information purposes only and cannot replace the sports injury specialists.