More than Just an Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are fairly common (especially with so many running events going on these days) and an athlete can expect to get back to sport within a relatively short time of around 3-8 weeks. That’s for grade 1 or 2 ankle sprains. Grade 3’s are another matter altogether.
- Grade 1 sprain is defined as mild damage to a ligament or ligaments without instability of the affected
- Grade 2 sprain is considered a partial tear to the ligament, in which it is stretched to the point that it becomes loose.
- Grade 3 sprain is a complete tear of a ligament, causing instability in the affected joint.
Related injuries with ankle sprains
So if you have been following advice on treating and rehabilitating ankle sprains but it just doesn’t seem to be getting better, then it is quite likely that you have injured more than just your ankle ligaments; usually the ligament connecting your outer leg bone (Fibia) to the bones in your foot (Tarsals).
Common injuries related with ankle sprains include:
- High ankle sprains
Like the name suggests these are injuries to the ligaments at the higher front of the ankle which join the Tibia and Fibula together. They tend to be more difficult to treat than standard ankle sprains.
- Pott’s fracture
This a break in the bone on the outside of the ankle. The bony lump which can be felt there is the end of the Fibula bone.
- Osteochondral lesions of the Talus
This refers to a tear in the cartilage which sits on top of the Talus (ankle) bone within the joint.
- Avulsion fracture
In some cases, instead of the ligaments tearing, a force can cause a tendon attachment to pull off a little section of bone.
- Peroneal tendon injury
The Peroneal tendons run behind the outer ankle bone and then on to the outside of the foot. These tendons can be torn when the ankle is forced over.
A Second X-ray
While generally, we don’t advocate unnecessary x-rays, in a case beyond a mild ankle sprain, an X-ray can help rule out fractures. If one is taken during the early days of a sprain, the swelling can sometimes mask the fracture. So if the swelling and pains persist, a second X-ray may be needed.