Ankle Sprains and Common Treatment Recommendations

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses ankle sprains, diagnosis and common treatment options.

Loading the player...

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses ankle sprains, diagnosis and common treatment options.
12002 Views
Share
Video transcript

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses ankle sprains, diagnosis and common treatment options.

So one of the commonest injuries we see in sports medicine is the simple ankle sprain, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than people think.

There are a number of different ligaments in the ankle. Some of them are on the outside half of the ankle, so this is the lateral or outside part where the fibula this is the bone here, attaches to the talus, that’s the bone that forms the top part of the foot that goes up and down.

There are also ligaments on the other side of the ankle attaching the tibia, again, down towards the talus. The most common injury would be one in which the foot turns outwards, so when people roll their ankle, and that would damage the ligaments out here.

We generally grade those injuries from one to three. So one would be the mildest injury, so more of a simple sprain, and then three would be considered a complete tear of the ligaments. And those are the kinds of cases where we might actually have to consider things like casting or surgery.

Most minor ankle sprains, so grade 1 or even grade 2 sprains, you might consider doing a couple of different things in terms of treatment. To begin with, we would want to put on ice. We might want to take an anti-inflammatory.

You would certainly want to consider seeking professional help from a physiotherapist or even seeing your family doctor in cases where people are unable to bear weight after an injury like this.

So if they’re unable to put any weight on the foot whatsoever, that’s the sort of injury where you should be going to the emergency room, and possibly having an x-ray. Most of these injuries when treated with therapy, maybe wearing a brace for a short period of time, and slowly and gradually resuming your activity, will generally not result in any kind of long-term problems.

Most grade 1 type injuries are typically going to resolve within about four to six weeks. So at that point you can consider going back to your usual sports. Grade 2 injuries can take a little longer, somewhere maybe between six and ten weeks, and then grade 3 injuries can sometimes take as long as 12 weeks.

And of course if surgery or casting is necessary it could take a little longer to resume your sports. Ankle injuries are very common in lots of different sports, but particularly sports where you have to cut and turn and particularly in turf sports. So sports like basketball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, we see these kinds of injuries all the time in these various sports.

If you think you have an ankle injury or have more questions about ankle injuries, you could consult your family physician who might refer you to a sports medicine doctor.

Video shot in conjunction with http://www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca/

Presenter: Dr. Grant Lum, Sports Medicine Physician, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

Ankle Injury Video Quiz ( 64 participated.)

Ankle Sprains

Questions True False  
1 There are different ligaments in the ankle that can be injured when someone sprains their ankle.

 
2 The first line of treatment when someone sprains their ankle is to apply ice.

 
3 Most patients with ankle sprains require casting.

 
4 There are 3 levels or degrees of sprains, level 1 being the mildest and 3 being the most severe.

 

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.