Physiotherapy for Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries presenting to physiotherapy. The injuries are most commonly your simple ankle strains, where the ligaments supporting the ankle are overstretched; occurring after landing awkwardly during running or jumping activities especially on uneven surfaces. These sprains can range in severity from the mild sprain through to complete ruptures of the ligament, avulsion fractures and broken bones.
The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are the most commonly injured. These ligaments are your Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL) and your Calcaneofibular Ligament (CFL).
In the early diagnosis of ankle injuries, the Ottowa Ankle Rules are used to determine whether an x-ray is required to rule out broken bones. Notably, an X-ray is required if:
- There is bony tenderness at the back edge of your ankle bone, either on the inside or the outside of the ankle.
- Tenderness at the base of the 5th metatarsal – an outer bone on the outside of your foot.
- A complete inability to weight-bear immediately for 4 steps. “Weight bearing” counts, even if limping.
Following this initial examination, your physiotherapist will assess your movement and perform ligament testing in order to determine what has been injured and the extent of the injury. You will receive a recovery timeframe and a necessary treatment plan to ensure you recover within this timeframe.