How Do Ankle Injuries Occur?
Ankle sprains are a common injury, and the ankle joint is the body part that is second-most likely to be injured in sport but can be caused by minor trips, falls or mishaps in everyday life. Multiple structures within the foot may be involved with an ankle sprain, which is why a thorough assessment of the injury is required before treating it.
The ankle is a hinge type joint and plays an important part in our daily lives as it is responsible for adapting to the surface we walk on. And when ligaments in the ankle joint suffer from a partial or complete tear, this results in an ankle sprain. As ankle sprains are more likely to occur when the ligaments in the ankle are weak, to prevent injuries from reoccuring, it is important to strengthen the ligaments.
The traditional grading system for ligament injuries:
- Grade I represents a microscopic injury without stretching of the ligament on a macroscopic level.
- Grade II has macroscopic stretching, but the ligament remains intact.
- Grade III is a complete rupture of the ligament.
Assessment & Diagnosis
Upon examination of the ankle, the physio will rank the severity of the sprain in line with the traditional grading system. The comprehensive assessment will check for dislocations, separation of joints, swelling and other deformities. After a physical examination of the severity of the tear, a lower limb joint and gait assessment and a review of your medical history to gain a deeper understanding of your ankle injury, your physio will help you set short-term and long-term goals consistent with your activity level.
The main goals in rehabilitating an injured ankle are to reduce pressure on it, manage pain and swelling, stabilise the ankle, and make sure it has proper positioning.
We use a range of methods to relieve pain and help with recovery, including:
- Manual therapy
- Strapping/ Taping
- Strengthening exercises to help reduce injuries from reoccurring
- Footwear and gait analysis
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