Ankle Injuries in Sports

October 7, 2013
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Sprained ankles seem to be a common theme amongst college football, the NFL, and even MLB lately.  Several teams have lost key players over the past week or so due to ankle injuries.


The #2 ranked Oregon Duck’s star running back De’Anthony Thomas suffered an ankle injury during the kick off against the California Golden Bears.  He spoke to the press following the incident and said that the ground had been slick causing him to slip and fall.


The Jacksonville Jaguar’s left tackle Luke Joeckel had to leave the game against the St. Louis Rams due to an ankle injury during the first quarter.  It was later reported that he suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out for the rest of the season.


Slugger Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers is out for the rest of the season as a precaution.  One of the major weight bearing bones in his ankle, the talus, is swollen and could fracture if he continues to play.  Although his ankle won’t require surgery, it will require lots of rest to heal.


Most ankle injuries affect one of the ligaments on the outside of the foot.  Sudden movements including rolling, turning, and twisting are the main causes of ankle sprains.  This includes sports that require a side-to-side movement like tennis or badminton, stepping off of a curb wrong, tripping, or slipping on slick grass or a patch of ice.  Symptoms occur instantaneously and include throbbing pain, swelling, redness, and warmth around the ankle.


An ankle sprain should be treated using 5 things:


  1. Protection – Guard your injured foot.  Don’t try to “walk it off.”  Your ankle is more vulnerable now to further damage to the ligament or to other structures nearby.
  2. Rest – Stay off of your feet as much as possible.  If you do have to walk, keep pressure off of the injured leg.
  3. Ice – You should put ice on the injured ankle as soon as possible.  Ice it for 15-20 minutes every 3-4 hours during the first 48 hours after the injury.  This will help to reduce swelling and can speed up the healing process.
  4. Compression – Wrap an Ace bandage around your foot and ankle.  Make sure it is snug, but not so tight that it is cutting off your circulation.
  5. Elevation – You should keep your foot propped up on pillows.  Ideally, your foot should be elevated above your heart.


It is very important to get appropriate medical care for ankle sprains and to allow it to fully heal before you go back to normal activities.  Returning too quickly can cause the ligament to heal in a stretched position, making your ankle more prone to sprains.  If you notice increased pain, redness, bruising, swelling, and difficulty walking, make sure you call us at Advanced Foot Care Centers for an appointment with Dr. Wiles in Hixson, TN.


By: Michael Wiles

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