Myles Garrett plays American football for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League. He recently suffered a foot injury during minicamp which forced him to the sidelines toward the end of the practice session. He was ultimately diagnosed with lateral ankle sprain (LAS) by Sports Injuries.

Nature and Causes of Lateral Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are tears in the ligaments that hold the ankle in place. Ligaments are the body tissues that connect one bone to another. Ankle sprains may be first (with only a few torn ligament fibers, though most become stretched), second (with partial torn fibers) or third grade/degree (with completely torn fibers) in nature.The general symptoms are painand swelling, and some bruising. The degree of the sprain determines the extent of pain.  In grade 2 and 3 sprain types, walking becomes difficult because the feet feel wobbly. However, if there is an attendant nerve damage affected persons may have proprioception difficulty where they cannot sense their foot and ankle without looking at them.

Lateral ankle sprains refer to sprains that occur on the lateral or outside part of the ankle. They occur when the foot rolls inwards, stretching the lateral ligaments. For instance, this may occur when a basketball player lands on another player’s shoe. It can also occur in soccer when a player steps on another’s shoe during a tackle. Running over uneven ground is another known cause of LAS.

Diagnosis

  • Clinical examination
  • Stress testing to evaluate ligament integrity
  • X-rays to exclude fractures
  • Occasionally, MRI

Treatment

Treatment of lateral ankle sprain involves the RICE approach:

  • Rest (to relieve the pain of walking and promote healing).
  • Ice (to relieve swelling).
  • Compression (through a brace compress the ankle and provide support to protect the healing injured ligaments).
  • Elevation (reduce the swelling).

Pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used to control the pain but stronger analgesics may be used in cases of third degree types of ankle sprains. Immobilization and/or surgical repair are required for moderate or severe ankle sprains. Another supportive treatment regimen is physical therapy which incorporates different modules such as the ABC’s exercises, towel curls, towel stretch, and standing stretch.

Treatment outcomes are determined by the severity of the sprain, promptness of diagnosis and intervention and the presence or absence of complications during the sprain and how well these are treated.

For more information on Lateral Sprain Ankle, contact podiatrist key expert, Dr. Jyotsna Thapar, founder of Foot and Ankles Specialist of NJ located in South Plainfield and Warren, NJ. Dr. Thapar keen insight of Ankle Injuries has made her go to physician in her community.

 

 

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