Among the injuries of the ankle, the Lateral Ankle Sprain is the most common injury in both the ordinary people and athletes. The mechanism of injury involves the twist of the foot inward which results in over stretching stresses on the ligaments ( Anterior Talo-Fibular ATFL, Middle Talo-Fibular MTFL and Calcaneo-Fibular CFL ligaments) supporting the outer part of the joint. The injury results in pain and swelling of the joint which often interferes with bearing weight on the joint. In advance injuries, the pain and swelling also associated with ecchymosis ( discoloration of the skin resulting from bleeding underneath caused by bruising). The above mention ligaments are very strong ligaments that a fracture of the lower part of the Fibula may take place before the ligaments yield.
Although it’s a common injury among athletes it’s also seen in non athletes. Usually the injury takes place when someone misses a step or trips. The ankle joint is x-rayed to rule out a fracture the distal end of Fibula ( lateral Malleolus) or the foot.
An early intervention after such injury follows the PRICE protocol:
Protection: by avoiding weight bearing on the joint or sudden movements by using crutches or immobilizing the joint by using a brace.
Ice application: applied in the first 48 hours for 10 minutes every two hours.
Compression by bandaging the joint which helps in controlling the swelling.
Elevation: raising the lower limb on a high pillow ( above the heart level) helps to push the fluids towards the blood stream by the help of gravity.
When the acute symptoms subside ( swelling and pain) restoration of range of motion, strengthening muscles around the ankle and improving balance and stability of the joint.