The ligaments around the ankle are the most commonly injured in the body with the ligaments on the outside of the ankle (anterior talo fibular) by far the most common. The mechanism involved most often is going over on the outside on the ankle. This can be caused by a variety of factors including stepping off a curb, stepping into a hole or landing on some ones foot while playing sport. The most alarming aspect of an ankle ligament injury however is that there is a 30% recurrence rate in the general population i.e. if you ‘ve gone over on your ankle once your chances of going over on it again increase. The reason for the high recurrence rate is that people often return to their sport or to their normal activities too early and don’t spend enough time resting, then strengthening and retraining their balance after injury.
The rehabilitation time for an ankle ligament injury depends on the grade of injury to the ligament and on how many other structures have been injured. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you an accurate time frame at your initial examination on how long this is likely to be.
It is imperative to the speedy rehabilitation of an ankle injury that the PRICER protocol is followed directly after injury. A more in-depth look at PRICER has been looked at previously but as a reminder:
P- Protect the Joint (strapping, taping, crutches if unable to weight bear without pain)
R – Relative Rest (stop your activity but keep the ankle moving as pain allows)
I – Ice (Ice regularly 20 minutes at a time for the first 3 days)
C – Compression (wearing a supported compression bandage helps control the swelling)
E – Elevation (Helps control the swelling, can be combined so that you keep the leg elevated while icing)
R – Referral (make an appointment to see a Physiotherapist to start your rehabilitation as quickly as you can)
If your ankle is not getting better as expected, a physiotherapist is best placed to determine if on ward referral is required for further investigation is required and what type of scan you should be sent for.
If you have any questions as regards ankle injuries please do not hesitate to contact us a Good Country Physiotherapy.