The most common type of ankle injury is lateral sprain. Lateral means on the outside of your foot. This usually occurs due to excessive rolling on the outer edge of you foot, so the foot turns inwards causing the outside ligaments (fibrous tissue that attaches bone to bone) to stretch, tear and possibly rupture.
When a lateral ankle sprain occurs it is usually accompanied by pain and swelling. Some people may find it difficult to weight bear on the foot at this time and crutches might be required.
Usually the ATFL is effected first, followed by the calcaneofibular, if the sprain is significant in nature. Rarely the PTFL is damaged as it is a very tough ligament. Sprain to the medial (inside) ankle is uncommon but can occur if the foot is rolled out.
Like all acute injuries, rest, ice, compression and elevation should be administered for the first 72 hours and heat, alcohol, running and massage should be avoided.
It is imperative to start ankle physical therapy soon after an ankle sprain, the next day if possible, to decrease pain, swelling and bleeding around the injury and maintain your movement and return you to sport and daily activities as soon as possible.
Please seek advice from your Advantage physical therapist immediately to commence your rehabilitative program.