Ankle pain-when a sprain is NOT so simple

Ankle pain-when a sprain is NOT so simple

85% of all ankle sprains – affect the lateral (outer) ankle structures 

This is a very common injury we treat in the practice.

If rehabilitation is not adequate and long enough, the risk of re-injury is high. Clinically, ongoing weakness & instability are risk factors for a recurrence.

We can never over emphasize the importance of adequate physiotherapy management right after the initial ankle injury, especially if you are a high performance athlete. 

We so often hear: “I have done my rehabilitation after my initial injury, but I still experience ongoing problems? I cannot perform as good as before, Why?”

Below are 5 potential complications from an ankle sprain:

1. Peroneal tendonitis (tendinopathy) – A second most common condition associated with ankle inversion sprain. Peroneal tendon is the tendon behind the outside ankle bone that can be “overstretched” during a sudden ankle inversion. It gets inflamed and swollen as a result lateral stability of ankle can be impaired causing further inversion sprain.

2. Sinus tarsi syndrome- The sinus tarsi is a tube or tunnel between the two major foot bones i.e. talus and the calcaneus. The syndrome describes pain surrounding this area. The causes can be traumatic, overuse or biomechanics (flat feet).

3. Ankle impingement-  is an entrapment of structures along the front and side of ankle. Pain is caused by mechanical obstruction due to osteophytes and/or entrapment of various soft tissue structures due to inflammation, scarring or hyper mobility.

4. Peroneal tendon subluxation / dislocation- is an disorder of the peroneal tendons involving an elongation, a tear, or an avulsion of the superior peroneal retinaculum, a stronger fibril band that holding the tendon in place during movement 

5. Stress Fracture of the talus – is a small crack in a bone, mostly caused by overuse and repetitive activity, especially when people change their activities, such as trying a new exercise, suddenly increasing the intensity of their workouts, or changing the workout surface (e.g. from treadmill to outdoor running on uneven surface).

It is essential to consult your physiotherapist for an initial physical diagnosis therefore an appropriate rehabilitation plan should be in place to maximise the long term functional outcome. We will also refer for specialist medical review – xrays and recommend imaging such as MRI or bone scan if indicated.

Please click the links to view videos for some advanced ankle rehabilitation exercises.

Single leg hop forward

Single leg lateral hop

For an individual assessment please contact us on 9529 8600 or book online via our website.

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