Chartered Physiotherapists are trained to assess an acute (recent) ankle sprain and using a specific set of assessment criteria known as the Ottawa Ankle Rules we can determine if a fracture is likely to have occurred. If we suspect a fracture we can refer you for an X Ray or MRI scan (In Ireland, depending on your health insurance policy, you may need your doctor to sign off on the request). The results of the scan will help us decide how best the ankle should be managed and depending on the extent of the damage, an orthopaedic specialist may need to be consulted in addition to receiving physiotherapy.
Most ankle sprains result in soft tissue injury, usually to the ligament structures which support the ankle joint. The lateral (outer) ligaments are more commonly injured which may result in pain, swelling, restriction of movement and a loss of function e.g. walking properly, or ability to run and take part in sports. If this type of injury is not treated correctly, on-going weakness and instability may result, making further injury much more likely down the road. Simply taking anti-inflammatories is not sufficient.