Treatment Options For A Sprained Ankle
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A sprained ankle, also known as an ankle sprain, twisted ankle, rolled ankle, ankle injury or ankle ligament injury, is a common medical condition where one or more of the ligaments of the ankle is torn or partially torn. The anterior talofibular ligament is one of the most commonly involved ligaments. Sprains to the lateral aspect of the ankle account for 85% of ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are classified as grade 1, 2, and 3.
It is important to either rule out a fracture clinically or radiologically.
A sudden movement or twist often when the foot rolls in can overstretch the supporting ligaments, causing ligament tears and bleeding around the joint. This is known as a sprain. This type of injury occurs most frequently in activities that require running, skipping, jumping and change of direction (such as basketball, netball, football/soccer). Some people are particularly prone to recurring ankle sprains.
Acutely rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is often recommended.
Ice can help reduce swelling in cycles of 10–15 minutes on and 10–15 minutes off. Icing an ankle too long may cause cold injuries.
An ankle brace can be very helpful for the treatment of a sprained ankle injury. Braces and crutches can be used to help alleviate the pain.
Although found to be less effective than casts, compression bandages provide support and compression for sprained ankles. Wrapping is started at the ball of the foot and slowly continued up to the base of the calf muscle, pushing the swelling up toward the center of the body so that it does not gather in the foot. Bandages are kept tight, but not so tight as to cut off the circulation in the foot.
A short period of immobilization in a below-knee cast or in an Aircast leads to a faster recovery at 3 months compared to a tubular compression bandage.
Most people improve significantly in the first two weeks. Some however still have problems with pain and instability after one year (5–30%). Reinjury is also common.
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