Home / Exercise & fitness / Specialist fitness / Sports injuries / Ankle sprain
In short,an ankle sprain is one of the most common types of injury and is accompanied by the swollen tissue around the ankle bone. Medically speaking, it is a stretching and tearing of ligaments (Just for clarification, 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:
- Some stretching or perhaps tearing of the ligament
- Little or no joint instability
- Mild pain
- Little swelling
- Some joint stiffness
- Some tearing of the ligament fibres
- Moderate instability of the joint
- Moderate to severe pain
- Swelling and stiffness
- Total rupture of a ligament
- Gross instability of the joint
- Severe pain initially followed by no pain
- Severe swelling
What can an athlete do?
- Aim to reduce the swelling by RICE (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