An ankle sprain is essentially a partial dislocation of the ankle joint. There is Injury to the ligaments (ATFL, CFL, PTFL) holding the ankle in place.
Anatomy of the Ankle Joint
The ankle joint is made up of three bones, the tibia, fibula, and talus. They are surrounded by the joint capsule, ligaments and tendons all of which help to hold the ankle in its proper alignment.
The main stabilizers of the ankle joint are the Anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular ligament.
Symptoms of Ankle Sprain
- Pain with weight-bearing (may or may not be able to bear weight)
- Swelling and ecchymosis
- Recurrent instability
- Catching or popping sensation may occur following recurrent sprains
RICE, elastic wrap to minimize swelling, followed by therapy.
Indications (Grade I, II, and III injuries)
Technique (Initial immobilization)
May require a short period (approx. 1 week) of weight-bearing immobilization in a walking boot, air cast or walking cast, but early mobilization facilitates a better recovery.
Grade II & III sprains will benefit with 10 days of casting and non-weight bearing after the initial time of injury.
A functional brace that controls inversion and eversion is typically used during the strengthening period and used as a prophylactic treatment for up to a year after injury.