Case study ( 3964 views as of January 24, 2019 )
Jason is a 23-year-old recreational ultimate frisbee player who visits his physician, having sprained his left ankle five days ago in a game. He stepped into a hole on the field, and was unable to continue. He limped off, and went to the local walk-in clinic, and had an x-ray, which showed no fractures. He was put into a tensor bandage and crutches. Jason has had several injuries like this before, but none this bad.
On exam, his left ankle is swollen around his lateral ligament complex. There is no bony tenderness. He has some pain on testing ankle stability, in particular on his drawer test. He is able to bear weight, but with some pain if he tries to turn while walking.
Jason would benefit from seeing a physiotherapist to reduce pain and swelling, and to eventually work on strength and balance, to prevent future injury. He likely requires an ankle brace, to provide compression to reduce swelling, to provide stability, and to reduce pain. If he continues to have significant ankle instability, surgery may be considered to repair the torn ligaments, and he would be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon in this case.Author: Dr. Grant Lum