Your guide to manage an ankle sprain-

An ankle sprain refers to a condition in which a ligament on the ankle is  partially or completely torn.

Inversion-type,  injuries which involve the lateral ligament represent 85% of all ankle sprains. It is most likely injured in sports populations.

Clinical features-

  • May have previous history of ankle injury
  • Difficulty to bear weight on the affected side.
  • Tenderness, swelling and bruising
  • No bony tenderness, deformity or crepitus present.

Types based on severity-

  • Grade I represents a microscopic injury. It is Mild – Little swelling and tenderness.
  • Grade II involves tear at the macroscopic level, however the ligament remains intact. There is Moderate swelling, pain and impact on function along with Reduced proprioception, ROM and instability
  • Grade III is a complete rupture of the ligament.

Managing sprain-

The most common approach to manage ankle sprain is the PRICE  protocol: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation

  • Protection: Protect the ankle from further injury. Avoid activities that may cause further injury.
  • Rest: Advise rest for the first 24 hours after injury
  • Ice: Apply a cold application
  • Compression: Apply compression bandage to control swelling
  • Elevation: Ideally elevate ankle above the level of the heart.

Managing sprains after acute phase is over-

Practice balance training along with muscle strength exercises. One should also begin with ankle/foot motion and mobility (walking, stairs, running). Gradually progress the loading, from static to dynamic exercise. Progression should be done from partially loaded to fully loaded exercises. One should continue practicing the functional activities at home with precise instructions regarding the expectations for each exercise. It is essential wearing tape or a brace during physical activities.

Late Remodelling –

Practise motor coordination skills. progress the load-bearing capacity and increase the complexity. The pre injury level should be achieved. It is also essential that one continues exercising.

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