The Bespoken Word

Rx: Ankle Sprain


Today we’re going to take a look at the dreaded ankle sprain. There are a few different types, but the most common are: lateral inversion and high ankle sprains.

[Mechanism of injury + affected tissues]

A lateral inversion ankle sprain occurs when you roll your ankle outwards, usually after jumping and landing awkwardly or moving to the side too quickly. With this movement the ligaments on the outside of your ankle, usually the ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) takes most of the damage, and straining the peroneus longus and brevis muscles is common as well.

See video below.

A high ankle sprain usually occurs from an excessive twisting motion where the tibia (shin bone) rotates on top of the foot, which tends to be stationary and in contact with the ground. It’s not uncommon for this type of injury to happen with a fall where you foot gets caught or sports like football and basketball where there is a lot of friction between your foot and the ground. In this scenario, the damaged structure tends to be the syndesmodic ligaments that hold your tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) together.

[Healing times]

Ankle sprains can lead to long term dysfunction at the foot which can easily lead to adaptations and faulty movement patterns up the chain to the hip, pelvis and low back. Treatment is important to maintain function and return to activity quickly. A grading system exists to give relative time frames to recovery and also describes the level of damage to the ligaments. Grade I is mild, with recovery likely within 2-4 weeks. Grade II is a partial tear to the ligament and healing occurs within 2-3 months. Grade III is a full tear, with recovery being much longer, upwards of 4-6 months.

[Interesting ankle stats]

28,000 ankle sprains everyday in the USA

45% of athletic injuries are ankle sprains

55% of people who sprain their ankle never seek professional treatment

Check out our instagram post for a short ankle sprain rehab guide – @BespokeTreatments Rx: Ankle Sprain