Ankle Sprain and the Road to Recovery

Ankle Sprains and the Road to Recovery

 

If you have sustained an ankle sprain, it should always be evaluated by a specialist. Roughly 85% of the ankle ligament reconstructions I perform are on patients who neglected their initial injury and thought it would get better on its own. The fact of the matter is this, these ligaments that are damaged are seat belts stabilizing the ankle joint. You got in a bad car accident, and still aren’t wearing a seat belt. The concept is simple, your ankle joint needs to be protected and rehabbed!

 

The majority of ankle sprains, even severe ones are treated conservatively. The body will heal, but the key is to provide the ligaments support during primary healing, and then quality functional rehabilitation during the later stages of recovery. It has been well documented in scientific literature that early functional mobilization for soft tissue injuries is a key predictive measure to outcomes. The ligament is filled with proprioreceptors, which is the biofeedback to your brain of where your ankle is in space. During physical therapy all of the dynamic activities are designed to retrain your ligament on its function. You have to teach it to be a functional seat belt again. This is the key for quality recovery, and re-injury prevention. 

 

The patients that sustain repetitive ankle sprains, or that do not complete functional rehabilitation, are the patients that end up with chronic ankle instability, and ultimately require ligament reconstruction. Very important to treat is right the first time, and hopefully avoid a potential surgery!

 

If you have sustained an ankle sprain, or feel like your ankle is weak and gives out frequently, give us a call for an evaluation!

Author
Dr. Zachary Flynn DPM, FACFAS Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon

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