An eversion ankle sprain refers to a condition caused by the tearing and damage to the ligaments and soft tissues around the ankle. A ligament is a tough fibrous band of connective tissue that attaches one bone to another. The medial ligament, also called the deltoid ligament of the ankle is made of connective tissue that joins the shin bone or tibia to other bones in the inner aspect of the ankle.
The medial ligament prevents excessive eversion of the ankle. Eversion refers to the outward movement of the ankle, which when exceeds what the medial ligament can withstand, causes a ligament tear in the ankle. This is called an eversion ankle sprain or a medial ankle sprain. An eversion sprain can range from a mild partial tear of the ligament which causes minimal pain, to severe damage or a rupture which may result in severe pain and disability of the injured ankle.
An eversion ankle sprain normally occurs due to excessive weight bearing activities or activities involving rapid changes in movement and direction, particularly done on uneven surfaces. Such movements occur while playing sports such as basketball, volleyball, football, netball, soccer etc. The injury occurs due to extreme eversion of the ankle during weight bearing activities.
Signs and symptoms
A patient with an eversion ankle sprain may hear an audible snap or pop sound during the time of the injury, followed by pain and swelling in the inner ankle region. The patient may not also be able to perform weight bearing activities during the injury due to extreme pain. Additional symptoms typically include stiffness of the ankle and bruising within the coming days.
Patients with eversion ligament ankle sprain often benefit from appropriate physical therapy. The success rate of physiotherapy usually depends on the patient’s compliance throughout the program. Treatment significantly involves adequate rest from aggravating activities that may cause further damage to the ankle tissues. The patient will be able to decide what activities he must avoid based on the symptoms he suffers from.
An activity can be considered as aggravating, if the following problems occur:
- Pain intensifies with activity
- Pain increases following or during rest after the activity
- Pain flares up in the morning after the physical activity
It is important that the patient properly rests after the activity that may intensify symptoms such as pain and swelling after performing the physical activity or the next morning.
Conservative treatment measures effectively treat initial symptoms such as pain, swelling, inflammation and bleeding. The R.I.C.E. treatment should be done within the first 48 to 72 hours after injures. The treatment plan involves rest, ice, compression and elevation. Adequate rest can be achieved from avoiding those activities that worsen symptoms with additional support materials such as an ankle brace and crutches. The patient must also regularly ice the ankle, preferably for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours per day. A compression bandage will also be applied to improve symptoms and the foot has to be kept elevated above heart level, whenever possible, especially while resting. Anti-inflammatory pain medication is also recommended during the initial stages to reduce inflammation and pain.
Exercises to restore ankle strength, flexibility and balance are also important during the rehabilitation process so that stiffness, instability and ankle weakness are prevented for maximal outcome. These exercises should be performed soon after pain and swelling subside. Exercises should be done pain free. Once the patient is asymptomatic, a gradual return to physical activity will be implemented, provided that symptoms do not worsen.
Accurate assessment and early treatment allows you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living. The effectiveness of the rehabilitation program after injury often determines the success of future function and athletic performance. Here at i Physio Perth, we ensure effective rehabilitation to bring you back to your fully-functional self.
Off with the pain from ankle sprain. Our Perth physiotherapists can help. Call us today at 9444 8729!