Leg & Foot Injuries

Among the common sports injuries, Ankle sprains are most common and often recurring again and again. Mostly the ankle is rolled outwards that resulting in damage to the lateral ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
In a mild sprain the athlete is likely be able to continue with training or competition, whereas severe injury results in hospital treatment and take longer to heal up. An ankle sprain usually occurs from a sudden trauma, twisting or turning over of the ankle. Patient may feel pain at the ankle joint and when pressing it on the damaged ligaments. At SportsMed, our specialists are undertaking a thorough evaluation of the injury without wasting time to avoid any further complications.


The ankle joint helps in the up and down movement of the foot. It plays a vital role in locomotion. The most common ankle injuries are sprain and fractures. These conditions are usually observed in people who are physically active and engage in some kind of sports.

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support and connect the bones of the leg to the foot get injured. The injury happens when you accidently twist or turn the ankle in an unusual manner. This tends to stretch or tear the ligaments that hold the ankle bones and joints together. It results in swelling and bruising.


A sprained ankle is painful and you may experience the following symptoms.

  • Immediate swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Tenderness to touch

Physical Examination

The doctor performs physical examination by carefully observing the foot and the ankle. It may be painful as the doctor may press the area around the ankle to identify the injured ligament. He may also move the ankle in different directions to know the range of motion.

Imaging Tests

An X-ray is performed to rule out a broken bone in the ankle. Stress X-rays are also performed to see the movement of the ankle. The doctor also recommends an MRI to check for any damage to the cartilage or the bone of the joint surface. The ultrasound is performed to determine the stability of the ligament.


Almost all the sprains can be treated without a surgery. A three phase program helps in the treatment of sprained ankles.

Phase 1 The surgery begins by making a keyhole incision and removing the bands of scar tissues. This improves the frozen shoulder condition.
Phase 2 includes restoring motion, strength and flexibility.
Phase 3 includes maintenance exercise.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Follow the RICE protocol to relieve ankle sprain.

  • Rest your ankle. Do not walk and strain your ankle.
  • Ice can reduce swelling and therefore apply ice to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Compression dressings should be used to immobilize and support the injured ankle.
  • Elevate the foot by reclining it up above the waist for the first 48 hours.

Arthroscopy is a method in which a camera is inserted to get a clear view of the internal part of the ankle joint. An instrument is used to remove all the loose fragments of the bone and other parts of the ligament that is obstructing the motion of the joint.
Reconstruction is performed to repair the torn ligament with the help of sutures. In some cases the damaged ligaments are replaced with a tissue graft from the ligaments found in the foot and around the area of the ankle.


Warming up your body is essential as it reduces or prevents the risk of injuring the muscles and connective tissues. A warm-up session includes cardiovascular exercises, stretching, slow jogs etc. These exercises help in increasing the body temperature and elevate the heart rate. Stretching prepares the muscles for physical activity and thereby prevents injuries. A warm-up session gently prepares the body for sudden actions in a game and also mentally prepares the person for the game ahead.

In case of severe ankle sprain which includes immediate swelling and color change do not encourage the person to walk as it may increase the damage caused to the ankle. Instead follow the RICE protocol which will relieve or reduce the sprain in the ankle. Do not ignore the condition. Untreated ankle sprains lead to severe pain, swelling, instability and can also put an end to the sports-life of a person. Never apply heat such as hot baths, heat packs etc. Heat helps in the blood flow which increases the bruising and inflammation. Do not massage the affected area as immediate massaging increases bleeding and swelling. On the reduction of inflammation massage can be soothing.

Famous sports persons who recovered from Ankle Sprains

Schilling, an American former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher injured his right ankle in the Game 1 of the 2004 AL championship series against New York. He then returned to an exceptional win in Game 6.

Jonny Bairstow, an English cricketer injured his ankle in the India-England test match 2016 but managed to get back on field to score 53 runs.