Causes of an ankle sprain
Ligaments help stabilise joints and prevent excess joint movement. An ankle sprains occurs when the joint is forced beyond its range of motion causing injury and tears to the ligaments. If the forces during an ankle injury are large then sometimes an associated bony fracture may result at the ligament attachment site as the ligament ruptures from the bone. Typical causes of a sprained ankle include:
- Twisting or rolling your ankle during a fall
- Twisting or rolling your ankle after landing awkwardly from jumping
- Another person forcefully stepping or landing on your ankle during sport
Ankle sprains most commonly occur to the lateral ankle joint (outside of ankle) and but can also occur to the medial ankle joint (inside of ankle joint). Lateral ankle sprains are usually the result of an inversion sprain (when your ankle rolls out too much), whilst medial ankle sprains are usually the result of an eversion sprain (when your ankle rolls in excessively).
The ankle is one of the most commonly injured body parts during sports. Athletes in sports that involve repetitive jumping and landing (e.g. Australian rules football, basketball, netball) or repetitive side to side movements (e.g. tennis) are more prone to ankle sprains. Athletes with poor foot biomechanics may be more prone to chronic and repetitive ankle sprains. Poor footwear is also a common risk factor in ankle sprains.
Ankle sprain diagnosis
Ankle sprains are easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne sports podiatrists, who are experts in identifying sports injuries of the foot and ankle. In mild ankle sprain cases further diagnostic studies are usually not required. In more severe ankle sprain cases referral for a x-ray, musculoskeletal ultrasound scan or MRI may be required to diagnose the full extent of the injury and to check for other associated injuries such as fractures and tendon tears. Our podiatrists can refer for these scans without the need for a GP visit.
Podiatry treatment for ankle sprains
The sports podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in diagnosis and treatment of ankle sprains both acute and chronic. Treatment options at our Melbourne podiatry clinic for ankle sprains can include:
Orthotics help address biomechanical faults and can help make your ankles more stable and less prone to chronic ankle sprains.
If you have suffered from any ankle injury acute or chronic it is important to see one of our sports podiatrists. Often other problems like fractures get easily overlooked and a sports podiatrist is best placed at giving you the right rehabilitation for ankle injuries.