Ligaments are the body tissue used to hold our bones together. Ligament injuries around the ankle are among the most common sporting injuries, especially in those sports involving twisting and jumping.
Common problem and causes:
Inversion injuries, where the foot is forcefully rolled inwards at the ankle, are by far the most common ankle injuries. This is thought to be due to less extensive bony structures and relatively weaker ligaments on the outside of the ankle compared to the inside of the ankle.
Injury occurs when the ligaments are forcefully stretched past their normal length such that they are sprained or ruptured. Swelling and bruising normally accompanies ankle injuries and the extent is often a good indicator of severity.
It is very important to limit the bleeding and swelling as much as possible as the accumulation of blood slows down the healing process dramatically. The athlete should be taken immediately from the playing field and the RICER regimen performed. This aims to minimise bleeding and promote healing.
Physiotherapy plays a very important part in the rehabilitation of ankle injuries. A comprehensive rehabilitation program is normally required if the athletes are to return to their sport at full capacity and avoid recurrence of the injury.
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This is a common condition in footballers. The player will often present to the trainer or Physiotherapist with pain across the front of the ankle, with no apparent recent injury such as the more common "rolling" the ankle.
Ligament injuries of the ankle are the most common of all sporting injuries. Every sprain causes damage to the stabilising tissues of the joint with bleeding, swelling and tenderness.