Medial ankle sprain is a specific and quite rare medical condition. We can also find it by the names eversion ankle sprain and deltoid ligament sprain. In both cases we speak of an ankle trauma that is accompanied by pain, swelling and inflammation – symptoms you probably already know by the names of other ankle injuries, including symptoms coming from chronic join diseases like arthritis and rheumatoid or psoriasis complications. There will be immediate pain on the inside of the ankle after twisting it. There will be rapid swelling and bruising may develop. They will have difficulty weight bearing and limited motion. In moderate to severe eversion ankle sprains it is always recommended that an x-ray is requested to rule out fractures. This is how you will usually recognize the medial ankle sprain. But you don`t have to be a sportsman to get such a trauma. Ordinary people, including those, who are regular in the gym, can also suffer from the pain and swelling caused by this medical trauma. The incident occurs when the ankle rolls too far inwards. It is often accompanied by a fracture of the fibula bone. It can be also described as a tear of the deltoid ligaments, on the inside of the ankle. It is often called a medial ankle sprain or a deltoid ligament sprain. These ligaments provide support to prevent the ankle turning inwards or everting.
But why does the medial ankle sprain is so rare actually? Well, here is an explanation that might you help you understand it. The fibula bone tends to prevent the ankle from moving far enough to sprain or over stretch the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. It simply does not allow the foot to move far enough to cause damage. Another reason is that the medical ligaments on the inside of the ankle are stronger than the lateral ligaments on the outside. For this reason an eversion sprain is often associated with a fracture of the end of the fibula bone called the lateral malleolus which can be felt as the bony part on the outside of the ankle. Other bones in the ankle such as the talus can also be fractured during an eversion ankle sprain.
How does the medial ankle sprain develop with time and depending on your treatment approach (as well as the lack of it)?
There are 3 degrees of ankle sprains which indicate the severity of the sprain: 1st degree: involves minimal swelling, point tenderness, no ligament laxity, no limp or difficulty hopping. An athlete typically recovers in 2-10 days. 2nd degree: has more swelling specific to the ankle, increased ligament laxity, a limp and athlete is unable to heel raise, hop, or run. Typical recovery time is 10-30 days. 3rd degree : includes a lot of swelling, tenderness on both the inside and outside of the ankle, even more ligament laxity, and the athlete cannot put any weight on the ankle. Recovery can be anywhere from 30-90 days or more.
How to treat the medial ankle sprain?
Appropriate treatment in the first 48 – 72 hours is vital to reduce bleeding, swelling and inflammation. This should involve following the R.I.C.E regime which comprises of rest from aggravating activity (crutches or an Ankle Brace are often required), regular icing, the use of a compression bandage and elevation of the affected limb. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be particularly useful in this early phase. It is also important for patients to perform pain-free flexibility, strength and balance exercises early in the rehabilitation process to prevent stiffness, weakness and instability from developing and to ensure the ankle is functioning correctly. These exercises should be implemented as soon as pain allows and under guidance by the treating physiotherapist. A gradual return to activity should occur once the patient is pain-free, provided symptoms do not increase.
Never try treatment without consulting with a doctor in advance. Any self-healing actions can be very dangerous for your medical condition. Plus – in most cases treatment is supposed to be serious, like a surgery for instance, and ordinary pain killers will not help you out at all.