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:
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.
The Most Common Causes of a Sprained Ankle:
Risk Factors of a Twisted Ankle:
A Previous Ankle Injury
Poor Physical Condition
Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle:
How to Prevent a Rolled Ankle:
How to Care for a Sprained Ankle: