Ankle and Foot Sprains " Nadia a 22-year-old martial arts instructor "

Case study ( 3511 views as of December 14, 2018 )

Nadia is a 22-year-old martial arts instructor who was demonstrating a jumping spinning kick when she had a bad landing. She over-rotated and landed on the outside of her foot, rolling her ankle inwards. She felt an instant “crack” and was sure she had broken her ankle. It got very swollen almost instantly, and she was not able to bear any weight on it.

Nadia was assisted to the local emergency department, where she was examined and x-rayed, and told she had no fractures. She was told that it was “just a sprain”, and that it would improve with time. However, she is very worried, as she knows others who have taken a long time to get better. Also, if she can’t teach, she won’t earn any money to support her college tuition.

Nadia should visit her family physician for a follow-up review of her injury, and possibly a referral to a sports medicine specialist. She may wish to consult with a physiotherapist and perhaps a bracing specialist. An athletic therapist/personal trainer could help her rehabilitate her ankle injury, and a pharmacist could review pain management with her. Some of the items Nadia may need to support her rehabilitation could be found at a first aid supply store or Cryo-cuff supplier. Nadia may also decide to visit a private imaging clinic for either a CT or MRI to gain additional perspective of her injury.

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Conversation based on: Ankle and Foot Sprains " Nadia a 22-year-old martial arts instructor "

Ankle and Foot Sprains " Nadia a 22-year-old martial arts instructor "

  • A friend of mine injured her ankle and was told that she had tendinitis but not a sprain. What is the difference ?
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    • @K.Michael - the main difference is that a sprain affects the ligaments (usually by stretching them beyond their range), while tendonitis affects the tendons.
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  • When I fractured my ankle I was very surprised at how little swelling there actually was. I would have thought there would be considerable swelling but there was only a little and very localized
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  • Since Nadia is an athlete - would she be at a higher risk of further injuring her ankle after this injury ?
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    • The short answer is likely yes, that she will have a greater risk of re-injuring the ankle. Ensuring that you do the proper rehab is really important to gaining that strength and stability back before returning to activity. A physiotherapist would be the best judge of when your ankle injury has healed enough, and can help you with a return-to-activity program.
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  • When running long distances, is there anything that one can be use to help reduce the possibility of an ankle injury ? (ie tension bands, etc)
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    • I would advise against the use of braces to provide ankle support when running, and instead focus on activities that will maximize ankle stability. Any exercise that is going to challenge your balance will help with your ankle stability, and you can easily adapt many exercises to challenge your balance. For example, any standing exercise in the weight room can be done standing on one foot, and then alternating for your next set. Or you can also stand in a tandem stance (one foot in front of the other) when doing standing exercises to work on ankle stability.
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    • I have weak ankles and have tried the exercise of balancing on one leg with eyes open/shut. This was difficult in the beginning but as I have kept doing it I find my ankles to not turn as much when I am walking/running.
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    • @ShirleyG and KMichael- with the ankle being a weight bearing joint, the best course of prevention is to make sure the ankle ligaments are strong and they have an understanding of where they are supposed to be in relation to the rest of the body and space (proprioception). I agree the best prevention is to wear supportive yet light weight runners specifically designed for distance running, and to engage in cross training activities that provide strength to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles crossing the ankle joint. Wobble board, BOSU, and acceleration/de-acceleration exercises are key. Wearing an ankle brace is not recommended as the ligaments will adapt to the brace support instead of continuing to provide their own strength. A fun home exercise is to stand on one leg and balance, and then perform it again with your eyes closed. By taking away the visual cue, you are relying on your ankle's proprioception for balance. *Always make sure you are in a safe environment in case you lose your balance.*
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    • This is a good question. I wouldn't imagine tension bands would be a good idea for distance running. Isn't it just key to make sure you have incredibly supportive running shoes that provide excellent stability ?
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  • Sprains are so painful. I sprained my ankle in high school and was on crutches for a long time.
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    • Soft tissue injuries can take so long to heal and the treatments are varied and confusing.
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    • Did you do any sort of physiotherapy or other treatments to help with the sprain ? Does the injury still cause pain / discomfort now ?
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  • I believe a physiotherapist would have helped me a lot with exercises to strengthen my muscles around my ankle sprains. At one point, I was having foot sprains frequently.
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    • I saw a physiotherapist after I tore the ligaments in my ankle. They were very helpful in assisting me to regain mobility
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  • keeping the leg elevated and icing would be beneficial while she is at home. A sports medicine doctor would be beneficial.
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  • Given she is a sports professional would she be doing herself a disservice if she saw a regular physiotherapist instead of one that specialises in sports rehabilitation?
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  • Applying ice and using an tension bandage will help with recovery
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  • Nadia would benefit from further examination to rule out injury to the ligament. Soft tissue injuries to the ankle can heal slowly and medical intervention is often necessary
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    • I agree Kimberly. An Ultrasound would be able to diagnose a soft tissue tear. A sprain is often worse than a break because it takes so much longer to heal. Nadia would also do well with starting physiotherapy right away.
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