Dr. Holdren Otis Explains Ankle Sprains
Ankle Sprains are a common condition which involve stretching and tearing of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. This usually occurs with a twisting injury where the foot turns under the ankle and leg. Increased risk of this injury is during activity that demands quick changes in direction and running on uneven surfaces. The outside of the ankle, just under the ankle bone, is swollen, painful and can bruise. It is important to have your ankle evaluated by a podiatrist to make sure fractures have not occurred. A simple xray can tell a lot about the injury. Just because you can walk on your ankle does not mean it isn’t broken or severely injured. Small fractures can occur, called avulsion fractures, where a ligament pulls away a piece of bone. Also there is a critical period of 6-8 weeks in which reinjury to the ankle ligaments can be very detrimental. Proper bracing and physical therapy is important.
Eddie Lacy, a running back for the Packers, during the first quarter of last night’s game against the Seahawks suffered an ankle injury. Lacy was seen heavily taped and taken to the locker room after being evaluated and still unable to bear weight. He did not return for the rest of Sunday’s game. Today the reports stated that the xrays were negative for fracture. Two other teammates, wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Josh Boyd had ankle ailments during the same game.
If Lacy, Adams and Boyd have ankle sprains the grade of the injury is important in determining how much time off is needed to heal. If a Grade 1 sprain is present there is minimal tenderness and swelling. The small fibers of the ligaments are stretched or torn. Treatment includes walking as tolerated, range of motion exercises and stretching. A Grade 2 injury is a little more involved, moderate tenderness and swelling, difficulty moving the ankle and possibly the feeling of instability. The ligaments are partially torn. The athlete should immobilize the ankle with a brace to help with healing for 1-2 weeks and physical therapy with stretching/strengthening and range of motion. Finally Grade 3 is the most extensive injury and has significant swelling, tenderness and instability. The ligaments are completely ruptured. Immobilization is recommended for 3-4 weeks. Physical therapy is highly recommended to help with strength, proprioception and prevent instability.
Depending on the extent of the Packer players injuries will determine how quickly they can return. Athletes and coaches must use caution to return when they are totally healthy or the injury can linger for the entirety of a season. For Packer fans and Fantasy Football teams everywhere I hope that Lacy, Boyd and Adams are grade 1 or 2.