ANKLE LIGAMENT INJURY
The ligaments of the ankle joint are comprised mainly of the medial (inner) and lateral (outer) collateral ligaments. These are extremely important in the stability of the ankle.
The outer or lateral collateral ligament comprises of:
Front: Anteriortalo-fibular Ligament
Middle: Calcaneo-fibular Ligament
Back: Posterior talo-fibular Ligament
The inner or medial collateral ligament is thicker and stronger than the outer ligament as all its bands mass around the inner part of the ankle. That’s why it’s relatively common to see lateral ligament injuries whereas the medial ligament is seldom affected. Since lateral ligaments are the commonly injured ones, we’ll focus on these injuries in this section.
Inward twist of the ankle is the most common cause for the lateral collateral ligaments injury which could happen when walking with high heel shoes, landing on the uneven ground, playing sports such as basketball and so on.
Depending on how serious the ankle sprain is, the symptoms of ligament injury may include the following:
- Pain on the outer side of the ankle which gets aggravated by pressing or inward stretch of the ankle
- Redness and warmth
- Limping because of the pain
The aim is to reduce the inflammation and swelling and to lessen the pain and help in healing.
Medical Treatment – The doctor may prescribe some anti-inflammatories and pain killers if necessary.
- Cryotherapy: To reduce the inflammation and swelling
- Ultrasound: To reduce inflammation, promote healing, increase blood circulation of this area and prevent adhesion inside.
- Interferrential: To relieve the pain and decrease the inflammation
- Laser: Aids in pain management and helps with wound healing
- Ankle Taping: Taping or strapping supports the ankle, reducing the stress from the involved muscles and tendons.
- Friction Massage: To break up the scar tissue and prevent the adhesion
- Exercises: To maintain the joint’s range of motion and muscle strength to improve the functional ability to get the patient back to the normal daily activities
- Gait assessment: Assessment and correction of walking techniques to avoid further strain to surrounding structures.
- Balance and proprioception exercises: To improve muscular responses in the ankle and allow for safe return to work/ sports/ daily activities
- Rest and elevate the affected leg to prevent further injury and reduce the swelling
- Use ice pack on it to reduce the inflammation and swelling
- Use an ankle brace
- Use a good, supportive shoe
- Avoid H.A.R.M – Heat, Alcohol, Running (or any strenuous exercise) and Massage in the acute(inflamed) stage.