A Quick Look at Ankle Sprains…
On October 10th Saquon Barkley from the NY 🗽 Giants NFL 🏈team suffered a ‘Low Ankle Sprain’ in the first quarter.
These are common occurrences not only in Football but in most sports. So let’s have a quick look at the anatomy…
Know you have a basic idea of how the bones of the joint look it’s worth remembering that they’re held together with strong ligaments, especially the ATFL (Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament) these support the ankle, yet they’re flexible enough to allow the movements we require to compete in our sports. It is a classic compromise between support and flexibility that also happens in all our other joints.
So lets see what can go wrong and why.
The ATFL is the main ligament that gets injured when the ankle ‘rolled’ over the foot. There are 3 different grades of Ankle Sprains with Grade 1 being the mildest, and Grade 3 is a complete tear of the ligament.
Low Ankle sprains can be extremely painful when they occur, however not all require a trip to the Emergency Room at your local hospital🏥🚑.
So when should you get it x-rayed/imaged?! 🤔 Well this image from the BMJ (British Medical Journal) demonstrates the key areas of pain and the inability to bear any weight on the injured ankles indicts that imaging and further investigation as the injury might be more severe than just an ankle sprain.
If you saw the game they’ll see that Saqoun Barkley was able to ‘hobble’ off the field so in an amateur sporting event his would have unlikely gone for x-rays but playing in the NFL I’m sure he would have had multiple images taken of his left ankle.
So what can be done?? Well there is the old acronym of RICE; Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. However there are some specifics in regards to these actions, and encouraging movement and increasing range of motion as soon as safe to do so is important in improving injury outcomes. Also strengthening the muscles 💪 on the side of the injured ankle can help to improve stability of the joint until full healing of the ligament occurs.
Also encouraging fresh blood 🩸 to an area and reducing swelling is also important and so is improving the nerves in and around the joint to help regain balance control of the ankle.
Saquon Barkley is still on the injured 🤕 list and will hopefully return soon to continue to be an exciting player to watch in the NFL.
John, Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
Dalhousie Health & Wellness