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Ankle sprain in athletes

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What is a sprain?

A sprain is a traumatic affection of one or more ligaments. This traumatic injury can be a simple stretching of the ligament (mild sprain), a partial tear of some ligament fibers (moderately severe sprain), or total rupture of the ligament (severe sprain).
Ligaments are structures constituting tensioned stay cables on either side of a joint. They allow the articular surfaces to remain in contact during the movements and thus ensure the stabilization of the joint.
After trauma, the joint may undergo excessive torque resulting ligament injury.

Which ankle ligaments

There are two primary ligaments at the ankle, a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and a medial collateral ligament (MCL) on each side of the ankle, they are stretched between the tibia / fibula top and the talus / calcaneus below. The LLE is composed of three bundles (anterior, middle and posterior).

What is an external ankle sprain?

An external ankle sprain is an injury to the LLE. When certain sports such as football or tennis, trauma torsional and / or inversion of the foot will lead to ligament injuries. In most cases, the sprain is partial and it is a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament (anterior bundle).
However before this type of accident should always be considered a complete rupture of the three beams of the LLE which requires specific therapeutic management. For the achievement of 3 beams of LLE defines a severe ankle sprain.

What if sprain?

In the immediate aftermath of a sprained must stop all activities, apply ice if possible, set up a simple bandage or splint. It is necessary to consult in an emergency service in case of severe discomfort, to eliminate a serious pathology (fracture, dislocation ...) In any case, it is advisable to consult your doctor in the days following the accident .

What is the treatment?

Medical treatment consists of immobilization in an ankle brace of variable length depending on the damage, analgesics and anti-inflammatory daily icing the ankle to reduce pain and hematoma, rehabilitation through physiotherapy to start quickly to prevent joint stiffness and muscle atrophy. The judgment of the sport depends on the severity of the injury.
Except in exceptional cases, there is no indication to operate an ankle sprain. In severe sprain with lesion of 3 beams of LLE, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Doctor Nicolas LEFEVRE, Doctor Serge HERMAN. - 27 décembre 2008.

Conflicts of interest: the author or authors have no conflicts of interest concerning the data published in this article.


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