What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is an acute injury that causes damage to the ankle ligaments. This results in either a partial or complete tear of the ligaments and leads to pain and swelling around the ankle. Ankle sprains most commonly occur on the outside of the ankle (lateral ankle sprain) but can also occur on the inside of the ankle (medial ankle sprain). If the forces during the acute injury are large then sometimes a bony fracture may result at the ligament attachment site as the ligament tears away from the bone.

Do you suffer from a sprained ankle?

Signs & symptoms of an ankle sprain

The following signs or symptoms may indicate an ankle sprain:

  • Swelling around the ankle
  • Bruising around the ankle
  • Pain or tenderness around the ankle
  • Limping or unable to put weight on the affected ankle
  • There may be associated ankle instability
  • There may be restricted ankle range of motion
Ankle sprain treatment Camberwell

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 foot 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.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Do you suffer from a sprained ankle?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our sports podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes acute and chronic ankle sprain treatment.

So if you are suffering from a painful ankle or a recent ankle sprain book an appointment with one of our friendly sports podiatrists today!