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Twisted or rolled over your ankle?  It can be very painful and swollen. If you have gone over on your ankle and want to know what to do, then read on.

Anatomy of the Ankle

The ankle is a complex structure made up of 3 different joints:

1) Talocrural Joint (Ankle Joint)

The talocrural joint is what most people think of as the “true” ankle joint. It is made up of three bones; the tibia on the inside, the fibular on the outside and the talus underneath. This joint allow the up and down movement of the foot (dorsiflexion and plantarflexion)

2) Subtalar Joint

The subtalar joint sits below the talocrural joint and is made up of the talus and the calcaneus. This joint allows the inward and outwards movement of the foot (inversion and eversion). The main role of this joint is to allow the foot to adjust to uneven ground.

3) Inferior Tibiofibular Joint

The inferior tibiofibular joint is the joint between the ends of the tibia and fibula. Although there is minimal movement of this joint, it is important for stability of the ankle.

In addition to the joint, there are many muscles and tendons in the ankle that allow it to move in various directions. There are also numerous ligaments that provide the foot and ankle with stability.

The main ligaments for the ankle are:

1. Lateral collateral ligament – attaches the fibula to the calcaneus and provides stability to the outside of the ankle joint.
2. Deltoid ligament – attaches the tibia to the talus and calcaneus and provides stability to the inside of the ankle joint.

     

    What is a Sprained Ankle?

    An ankle sprain is a very common injury. It can occur during sporting or everyday activities.  An ankle sprain is injury to the ligaments of the ankle. Ligaments are elastic band type structures that support and stabilize joints. During normal movements the ligaments stretch to allow us to move. When a ligament is stretched too far it results in an ankle sprain. Ankle sprains are essentially overstretching or partial tearing of the ligaments. In severe cases, the ligament can completely rupture. There are different types of sprain depending on the severity of the injury:

    Grade 1 – Tearing of a few ligament fibres

    Grade 2 – Tearing of a considerable portion of the ligament fibres

    Grade 3 – Complete tear of the ligament

    Ankle sprains occur when the foot is rolled inwards or outwards, beyond it’s normal range of motion. This can happen in a number of ways, some of which are listed below:

    a)      Running or walking on uneven ground

    b)      Slipping off the edge of a curb or step

    c)      Jumping and landing awkwardly

    d)      Loosing your balance whilst wearing high heels.

    The lateral ankle ligaments are much weaker than the medial deltoid ligament. As a result, inversion injuries were the foot rolls inwards are far more common that eversion injuries were the foot rolls outwards.

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    The Most Common Causes of a Sprained Ankle:

    -  A fall that causes you to twist your ankle
    -  Walking or exercising on an uneven surface
    -  Another person stepping or landing on your foot during a sports activity
    -  Landing awkwardly on your foot after jumping or pivoting

      Risk Factors of a Twisted Ankle:

      Uneven Surfaces

        Walking or running on uneven surfaces or poor field conditions may increase the risk of an ankle sprain.

          Sports Participation

            Ankle sprains are a common sports injury, particularly in sports that require jumping, cutting action, or rolling or twisting of the foot such as basketball, tennis, football, soccer, and trail running.

              A Previous Ankle Injury

                Once you've sprained your ankle or had another type of ankle injury, you're more likely to sprain it again.

                  Improper Shoes

                    Shoes that don't fit properly or aren't appropriate for an activity, as well as high-heeled shoes in general, make ankles more vulnerable to injury. Make sure you have a good pair of shoes!

                      Poor Physical Condition

                        Poor strength or flexibility in the ankles may increase the risk of a sprain when participating in sports.

                          buy adjustable ankle wrap for sprains

                          Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle:

                          -  Swelling
                          -  Bruising
                          -  Restricted range of motion
                          -  Pain when bearing weight
                          -  Popping sensation at the time of injury
                          -  Tenderness when touching the ankle
                          -  Instability in the ankle

                            How to Prevent a Rolled Ankle:

                            -  Proper warm-up techniques
                            -  Be careful when doing physical activity on uneven surfaces
                            -  Wear shoes that fit well
                            -  Avoid sports that you are not well conditioned for
                            -  Practice balance exercises
                            -  Use an ankle support on a weak or previously injured ankle

                              How to Care for a Sprained Ankle:

                              REST - Reduce activity to help decrease bleeding and swelling. This can be achieved using crutches.
                              ICE - Primarily used to decrease tissue metabolism in the early stages of the injury.
                              COMPRESSION - Decreases bleeding and therefore swelling. This is usually achieved using a compression bandage.
                              ELEVATION - helps to decrease the build up of fluid.

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