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There are too many outdated concepts and beliefs about the management and treatment of ankle sprains.

Outcomes-based research has challenged previous management of ankle sprains resulting in an updated approach. Here are the top 3 misconceptions followed by the updated facts!

1: An ankle sprain will put you out of action for 6-weeks

Fact: with a mild ankle sprain you can return to sport in 10 days

How to identify a mild ankle sprain: Post-injury you should be able to walk normally, with the possibility of a slight limp. You won’t be able to run and will have minor swelling.

Fact: with a moderate ankle sprain you can return to sport within 3-weeks

How to identify a moderate ankle sprain: Post-injury you will be limping. You will have a moderate amount of swelling and bruising around the ankle.

Fact: only with a severe ankle sprain will it take 3-6 weeks for a return to sport

How to identify a severe ankle sprain: You won’t be able to put weight on the foot and you will present with severe pain, swelling and bruising around the sprained ankle.

2: Long term wearing of an ankle brace will weaken the function of your foot.

Fact: Patients are strongly encouraged to wear ankle braces post ankle sprain to prevent re-injury. It is highly recommended that sportspeople wear ankle braces when returning to sport. Sportspeople are encouraged to wear ankle braces for up to 1-year, post-injury during sporting activity.

3: If you sprain your ankle once it does not mean you are likely to sprain your ankle again.

Fact: One ankle sprain doubles your chances of incurring another ankle sprain.

To prevent re-injury to your ankle, physio treatment and rehabilitation exercises are essential. This will strengthen your ankle and significantly reduce your chance of reinjury.

Mandy Button – Physiotherapist