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The ankle forms the area around the joint between the lower parts of the tibia and fibula and the tarsal bones at the back of the foot. It is crisscrossed by a number of ligaments which can become injured when the ankle turns over so that the sole of the foot faces the inside. This is called an inversion sprain. A sprain is a tear in a ligament, whereas a strain results when a muscle or tendon is torn. It is important to get a professional diagnosis, since there may be damage to tendons, bones and other joint tissues in addition to ligament damage. Ankle sprains may be caused by weak ankles, a condition some people are born with. Previous foot injuries may also lead to ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains can be divided into three categories of severity:
First aid treatment of the sprain will involve RICE (rest, apply ice and compression and elevate the affected area). Physiotherapy can help with pain management and treatment of the injury to restore your functional independence.
Intervention will involve the PRICE protocol.
Once the swelling and pain are reduced, stretching and strengthening exercises can begin and weight bearing will be increased. We will train you in the proper use of crutches and how to bear weight gradually. It is important to follow the weight precautions we give you. Training in sitting and getting up from a chair, climbing stairs and curbs with crutches, forms part of your therapy sessions. Exercises to help you return to full function will follow until the end of treatment.
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