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The Sajid Shariff clinic is the leading, private orthopaedic Kent-based clinic that can help, listen and advise on a wide range of treatments for Ankle Sprains. Book a free Intro call with our Medical Secretary to discuss your Ankle Sprain and treatment options available.
The foot can twist during a variety of activities such as walking or exercising on an uneven surface, in sports that require rolling and twisting of the foot: trail running, basketball, tennis and football, and during sports injuries: another player may step on the foot or tackle causing the foot to twist or roll to the side.
Ligaments are bands of tough elastic tissue (like a rope) that connect bones to other bones. The ankle ligaments help to keep the bones making up the ankle joint in proper position and stabilise the joint. Most ankle injuries affect the lateral ligaments which are found on the outer of the ankle. Sprains can range from stretching of the fibres that make up the ligament to complete tears.
If there is a complete tear of the ligaments, the ankle may become unstable (give way) after the initial injury phase passes. Over time, this instability can result in damage to the bones and cartilage of the ankle joint.
A sprained ankle is usually painful and swollen. There may also be bruising, tenderness to touch and it may be difficult to put weight through or stand on the foot. More severe ankle injuries can cause fractures or even a complete dislocation of the ankle joint in which case it is very important to seek medical attention.
The Sajid Shariff clinic is a private orthopaedic clinic based in SE London and Kent that specialises in surgical and non-surgical treatment of foot and ankle conditions including ankle sprains, bunions, plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis.
Keep an eye on the shape of your feet; if you see changes see a doctor to find out if there are any recommendations to prevent hallux valgus from forming
Strengthen your feet by exercising them
Wear shoes that fit your feet well and offer good support
Try to avoid shoes that have a heel or pointed toe
Look at the bones and are useful for showing fractures/broken bones. Sometimes the fracture or break may be subtle such as a hairline fracture and the it may be necessary to get further tests.
These are taken while the ankle is being pushed in different directions and can help to show whether the ankle is moving abnormally because of the torn ligaments.
These scans are very good at looking at the soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons or the cartilage of the joint surface. Subtle fractures such as avulsions (small bone chip), hairline fractures and stress fractures which are not visible on an xray may be picked up on the MRI scan.
This type of scan helps to observe the ligament directly while your ankle is moved. This allows the doctor to determine how much stability the ligament provides.
For milder sprains, the simple home treatment follows the RICE protocol:
RICE: Rest Ice Compression Elevate
Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help control pain and swelling.
Some sprains will require treatment in addition to the RICE protocol and medications.
Almost all ankle sprains can be treated without surgery in the first instance. Even a complete ligament tear can heal without surgical repair if it is immobilised appropriately.
A three-phase program guides treatment for most ankle sprains:
Phase 1: resting, protecting the ankle and reducing the swelling.
Phase 2: restoring range of motion, strength and flexibility.
Phase 3: maintenance exercises and the gradual return to activities that do not require turning or twisting the ankle. This will be followed later by being able to do activities that require sharp, sudden turns such as tennis, basketball, or football.
This three-phase treatment program may take just 2 weeks to complete for minor sprains, or up to 6 to 12 weeks for more severe injuries.