|Patrick Mularoni, MD|
Ankle sprains are one of the most commonly encountered injuries.
They occur when an athlete rolls the ankle when stepping and landing on an uneven surface. This happens frequently in basketball when a player jumps for a shot or rebound and lands on another player's foot. Ankle sprains can also happen when playing football, soccer, and other field sports on a field with an uneven surface.
When this happens the ligaments on the side of the ankle get strained and can even tear.
The outside or lateral aspect of the ankle is more likely to be sprained. This area will be swollen and painful. There can also be bruising which occurs 1-2 days later.
The best thing to do initially is ice the affected area. You should also keep the ankle elevated in an attempt to decrease swelling.
One of the hardest things for parents is to determine whether their child needs an X-ray. If the ankle is deformed rather than swollen, or if the pain is unbearable when the child is not bearing weight, then you should have the injury evaluated immediately. If this is not the case then the best thing to do is allow 24 hours using rest, elevation and ice. Your child should be evaluated to determine when they can return to play.
At AllSports Medicine we can help get athletes back in the game by providing evaluation of ankle injuries and when necessary we can fit athletes with appropriate braces and physical therapy when needed.
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