What Are Inversion Ligament Sprains?
Sprained ankles are the most common ankle injury sustained during sport Fong et al 2007). The lateral ligament complex is made up of 3 ligaments which can be torn or ruptured when you forcibly roll over (invert) on your ankle. When this occurs the ankle will be extremely painful, you may not be able to walk on it and it will become very swollen.
Common sports that cause these injuries:
Common Signs & Symptoms
Following this injury the common signs and symptoms are:
- Immediate pain and swelling of the lateral ankle and foot
- Pain on weightbearing or unable to weightbear
- Decreased range of movement of the ankle
What should be done following this injury:
- For severe sprains attend the Emergency Room for an assessment as you may need an X-ray to rule out a fracture
- For moderate & minor sprains consult your Doctor or physical therapist
- Elevate your ankle
- Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce pain and swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off). Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Depending on the severity of the ankle sprain will determine how long it takes for the ankle to recover and for you to return to sport. Ligament sprains are classified as:
Grade 1 – minor strain of the ligament. Return to sport between 2-4 weeks
Grade 2 – partial rupture of the ligament. Return to sport between 6-12 weeks
Grade 3 – complete rupture of the ligament. Return to sport – seek physiotherapist or orthopaedic consultant opinion.
As your sprain recovers and your ROM improves you will be able to start to walk and run on your ankle. As you start to return to sport you may find an ankle support useful to provide flexible support to the joint.