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Athletic Training

Not your usual ankle sprain

12/13/2007

Question:

I sprained my ankle, but instead of tearing the top ligament on my foot/ankle, the ligament separated from the foot bone taking bone with it. I have been to an ortho. dr. to verify this information. I am concerned that the bone will not heal back in place. Are there specific exercises for this particular sprain. I have been given exercises for an ankle sprain where the ligament is torn. Are they the same? I play competative sports and need to rehab properly before I start playing again. Thank you for any information you can give me.

Answer:

Thanks for your question.

Actually, what you are describing in your history is more of an avulsion fracture than of a ligament sprain. It is good that you are being followed by an orthopedic physician because this evaluation is important to your rehabilitation. If the ligament pulled off a piece of bone from the attachment, the physician will probably want to restrict specific motion until healing has occurred. Often, some pain free motion is permitted while in a brace while this heals but that depends on severity. Please check with your physician on what you should be doing and also what you should not be doing with regards to activities and rehabilitation.

Ultimately, a good ankle strengthening program is in your future. That should entail range of motion exercises, strengthening in all planes, followed by balance and sport specific drills. A gradual return to play is important to remember. Many times an ankle injury has healed but is not properly rehabilitated. To return to sports, one must spend time on balance, change of direction drills, and sport specific drills before returning to competition. Please check in with your doctor or rehab specialist to know when to progress and how hard to push yourself in this process.

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Response by:

Doug  C Calland, MS, ATC Doug C Calland, MS, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer
Instructor of Athletic Training
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University