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Ankle sprains

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Updated Dec 28, 2017

Ankle sprains are the most common traumatic injuries sustained during sports or daily activities when there is a deficit in muscle tone, and most often damage the lateral ligament of the ankle.

What is a lateral ligament ankle sprain ?

A sprain occurs when the foot twists involuntarily outwards (varus), stretching the various bundles of the lateral collateral ligament of the ankle.

What are the first clinical signs observed ?

The patient may complain of a feeling of rupture and being unable to walk, constant acute pain, egg-shaped swelling, etc.

What are the recommended treatments ?

When the patient consults, the practitioner seeks to determine the severity of the sprain: minor, moderate or severe. The latter corresponds to the rupture of several bundles and the joint capsule and often requires surgery.
According to the severity of the sprain, immediate first aid may be recommended: ice, strapping, cold, etc.

Medical, orthopedic (removable splint for example) or surgical treatment can also be proposed.

Physiotherapy sessions can then be prescribed in order to work on ankle proprioception and balance.

What is the role of the podiatrist ?

The podiatrist plays a preventive role, treating static disorders that can increase the risk of sprains of the lateral ligament of the ankle, but also a diagnostic role. The podiatrist may discover an untreated strain and thus refer the patient to a physician. Following a trauma, they can prescribe orthopedic insoles, in combination with physiotherapy, to help improve contact of the foot with the ground to offset any instability.

Dr Philippe PAILLARD, MD

About the Author:

Specialist in orthopedic surgery and sports surgery, Dr. Philippe Paillard operates on patients with hip, knee, shoulder, elbow or ankle disorders or injuries.

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