Ankle sprain injuries are the most common athletic injury, accounting for 25% of all injuries. The risk of ankle injuries in the sport of soccer are as high as 30%. The lateral (or outside) ankle ligaments are the most commonly injured, followed by fractures, and medial sprains.
Immediate physical therapy evaluation and treatment can accelerate an athlete's recovery and return to play with the proper progression of load and volume. Every athlete and their recovery times are different and ultimate goal is to return the athlete safely and decreased risk for further injuries.
A 15 year old soccer athlete came to us 2 days post severe ankle inversion sprain, that occurred during a match. Her goal was to return to play in a huge recruiting tournament in 2 weeks.
Day 1 after evaluation, we utilized various intermittent compression tools like VooDoo Floss, Normatec and PowerDot to control inflammation, manual therapies to improve joint range and motion and some home exercise education. We finished with Rocktape, utilizing the edema technique and her ankle looked like the photo above. We put this athlete in a walking boot; to provide support and unload the joint slightly, with the end goal to play in just two weeks time.
This athlete came to PT for 5 consecutive days and 2 days the following week- progressing to soccer specific drills by day 10.
Day 14 she was back on the field.
In this athlete's case, we did recommend short term use of a lace up figure 8 brace, for some additional support, because of return to play so quickly.
BUT, the athlete continued with a few additional PT sessions post return to play to continue LE strengthening and discontinued use of the brace 2 weeks later.
MORAL OF THE STORY: get in to see your PT/ ATCs at Olympus Movement Performance immediately following an injury and you will return to the field faster and safer!
Author: Annemarie Alf
"We Specialize In Optimizing Teen And Active Adult Lives In North County San Diego By Addressing The WHOLE Person. We offer A Holistic, Integrative Approach To Performance And Wellness That Will Assess And Address The Root Causes That Lead To Pain, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Weight Gain And/ Or Decreased Performance."