Among the most common types of severe injuries is a sprained ankle. According to an epidemiological study of unilateral ankle sprains, the dominant limb is 2.4 times more likely to suffer an ankle sprain than the non-dominant leg. Reports have also suggested that the risk of sprain increases with the degree of plantarflexion on landing (i.e. during a touchdown). 

Most ankle injuries just require conservative treatment. The outlook is positive. However, recovery is affected by a number of circumstances. If these are recognized early, the doctor may take more drastic measures beyond the initial phase of conservative care. Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio can help!

Potential Causes and Consequences

Ankle sprains can be avoided by avoiding the many risk factors that have been discovered. Because of the potential impact on the patient’s recovery, it is crucial that the clinician recognize these risk factors and select the best treatment plan possible.[3] Both intrinsic and external factors are considered.

Predictive outcome intrinsic risk variables include:

  • Due to factors such as age and biological sex, female athletes are 25% more likely to sustain a grade I ankle sprain.
  • raises in height or weight lead to a greater magnitude of inversion torque, which raises the likelihood of sprains.
  • Injury severity
  • Condition – functional
  • Related injuries, most notably prior sprains
  • Lower extremity overuse injuries were associated with limb characteristics like limb dominance, foot type and foot size, joint laxity, anatomic alignment, ankle-foot complex range of motion, and foot biomechanical abnormalities like pes planus, pes cavus, and increased hindfoot inversion.
  • Power in the muscles
  • Ankle sprains are seven times more common in people who slouch or sway in their posture.

Methods for Diagnosis

Other tests can supplement clinical evaluations like the Ottawa Ankle and Foot Rules.

  • Within 7 days of injury, an X-ray can rule out a fracture of the ankle or midfoot. It is suggested that testing be done while bearing one’s own weight.
  • Joint instability, functional limitations, and ligamentous damage can all be diagnosed with ultrasound. The testing staff’s competence and the tools’ reliability are critical to achieving reliable diagnostic results. When it comes to diagnosing acute ligament damage, an MRI has a higher level of sensitivity than an ultrasound.
  • MRI is the method of choice when looking into damage inside a joint. It helps determine if a calcaneofibular or anterior talofibular ligament has been torn acutely. However, difficulties may arise for the referring physician due to false-positive results. 

Due to the expensive cost of the test, limited accessibility, and widespread prevalence of this type of injury, MRI is not considered a routine study in an acute ankle injury. When syndesmotic injury, tendon pathologies, or persistent ankle instability are suspected, an MRI can be very helpful in making a diagnosis.

  • Ankle sprains are not common enough for doctors to order CT scans as a diagnostic tool. The advice is given on an individual basis.