The Process of an Ankle Sprain


Picture taken by Toralf Thomassen.

In sports and especially contact sports, it is very easy to get injured. Of these injuries, ankle sprains are one of the most common.
The important part of making sure one doesn’t get injured again is the process after the injury.
“It is important to understand the difference between a “High Ankle Sprain” and a traditional ankle sprain. The difference comes in the ligaments that are micro or partially torn. The high ankle sprain involves the anterior and posterior tibiofemoral ligaments. On the other hand, the traditional ankle sprain involves the talofibular ligaments. Because the tibiofibular ligaments stabilize larger bones and withstand more force, typically injuries to these ligaments are a bit more serious and involve longer recovery times to return to full activity,” said physical therapist Dr. James Yoder of OnSite-PT.
First, before rehabilitating it is important for one who suffered the injury to understand what occured in their Injury.
Dr. Yoder learned this first hand with his previous problems with ankle sprains.
“I had several injuries while participating in sports in high school and college that required physical therapy which likely started my interest into this career,” said Dr. Yoder.
In fact, college and highschool injuries are pretty common when playing a sport.
Especially ankle injuries.
“I see ankle sprains very often. An ankle sprain usually occurs at least once every 2-3 weeks I’d say,” said the head trainer at Chagrin Annie Marinkovic.
Right after an ankle sprain, one at Chagrin Falls High School usually sees Marinkovic.
“After someone sprains their ankle, immediately I recommend they use compression, ice, and anti-inflammatories. Then they should elevate their leg,” said Marinkovic.
Using this method will help the swelling go down.
After the swelling goes down one usually goes to see a physical therapist like Dr. Yoder.
“Generally speaking, the initial focus is to alleviate swelling, regain full ankle joint range of motion, normalize ankle/calf strength, and achieve a normal gait pattern. From that point, it really depends on the goal of the person. The rehabilitation protocol for a high-level basketball player will look a lot different than a high-level golfer for example. Basically, we’re trying to reload the injured tissues progressively without spiking pain and swelling,” said Dr. Yoder.
In order to regain full ankle joint range of motion, normalize ankle/calf strength, and achieve a normal gait pattern there are many exercises one can do.
For example, Junior football player Keyshawn Colmon at John Carroll had ankle problems.
“To get the strength back in my ankle I had to do a lot of band and stability work. My favorite exercise besides band and stability work is calf raises. They were a crucial part in helping me get my strength back,” said Colmon.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the amount of time of the rehabilitation process will vary.
There are also many exercise areas to focus on that one can do to prevent ankle sprains. Such as balancing, calf strengthening and ankle flexibility.
“Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in sports. Do whatever you have to do to stay away from them,” said Marinkovic.