Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't Ignore That Ankle Sprain

Now that's a nasty ankle sprain
We've seen quite a few cases of ankle sprains in our clinics recently. Most of these patients are young school athletes representing their school or participating in sports.

We've always managed to get our patients playing/ competing again quite quickly. Even ankle cases that were deemed serious, we've managed to get them up and running so quickly that their parents/ coaches were pleasantly surprised.

Hence I was surprised to read that ankle even if sprained only once but not treated properly can have lifelong consequences. Especially if the sprains keep recurring.

In the study referenced below, the researchers had students who had chronic ankle instability (caused by ankle sprains) wear a pedometer for a week. Their steps taken were compared with a control group of students who had normal ankles. Gender, BMI and general health were the variables controlled in both groups.

Turns out that the students with chronic ankle instability moved significantly less than the other group. They took about 2000 steps fewer on average.

The researchers were concerned with the obvious decrease in step count as this decrease may be secondary to other functional limitations. If this decrease in physical activity continues for an extended period,it may lead to other more substantial heal risks.

Next time you sprain your ankle, make sure you get it checked and treated properly, even if it seems to be mostly healed as it can lead to lifelong consequences.

Reference

Hubbard-Turner T and Turner MJ (2015). Physical Activity Levels In College Students With Chronic Ankle Instability. J Athl Trg. 50(7): 742-747. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.3.05.


Note to self and my colleagues: be wary even of a simple ankle sprain

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