Ankle sprains are one of the most common types of musculo skeletal injuries. Approximately 2 million Americans sprain their ankle each year. Although this injury is common, it can lead to long term pain, disability, and inactivity. A key reason that ankle sprains are so devastating is because they have such a high incidence of recurrence. In fact, it is estimated that up to 50% of individuals that sprain their ankle will suffer from a subsequent ankle sprain within 6 months of the initial injury.
There are multiple reasons that this may happen. When a ligament is sprained, it becomes stretched and lax. Because it is no longer as taught, the ligament can no longer properly support the ankle and is therefore more susceptible to further injury. The pain and
swelling that set in after an ankle sprain can also blunt the nerve sensation around the injured ankle. This decrease in spatial perception can also lead to subsequent sprains. Individuals with higher arched feet are also more prone to multiple ankle sprains because their foot morphology creates more stress on the outside of the ankle.
Luckily, there are multiple ways to prevent recurrent ankle sprains. Physical therapy canhelp to strengthen the injured ligament, improve balance, and prevent further spraining of the injured ankle. Strapping, bracing, and orthotics help to align the foot and ankle in a
position to provide greater support and prevent reinjury. But the best way to prevent these frustrating recurrent sprains is to be seen immediately after the initial injury. Every doctor in our practice is experienced in diagnosing and managing ankle sprains and we relish to
opportunity to help our patients stay active and fit while avoiding future injury.