When is an ankle sprain just an ankle sprain? Most of the time they resolve on their own in a few days with proper icing and resting. However, in some cases they are unable to heal properly without adequate medical attention. This can lead to a debilitating injury that prevents an athlete from reaching their full potential.
While working out in May 2015, CrossFit superstar, Lauren Fisher twisted her ankle while climbing down a rope. With the help of intense physical therapy, she was able to compete at a competition several days later although she ultimately failed to place high. She would go on to continue training for a whole year with the nagging injury before going in for proper evaluation and treatment. It turns out that her injury was more than “just an ankle sprain.”
There are several ligaments and tendons that support the ankle. The first to get damaged is the Anterior Inferior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL) followed by the Calcaneal Fibular Ligament (CFL) and the Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTFL). In a severe sprain that was not adequately treated early like Lauren’s, other soft tissue and bones can be affected as well.
As described in an old post on her Instagram, she ended up having her ankle surgically repaired after developing severe ankle instability, a tear of her peroneal brevis tendon, a talar dome lesion, and several loose floating bone parts in her joint – all as a result of her sprain.
Nearly a year later, after much hard work and rehab, she is headed back to the CrossFit Games this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
Other widely used modalities for rehabilitating sprained ankles are available right here in our clinic including the Super Pulsed Laser Therapy. It’s a deep penetrating light that essentially improves circulation to quickly heal any damaged tissue. It’s fast, safe, and medically proven to get you back to full speed. It also serves as a great alternative to taking pain meds and anti-inflammatories. Most importantly, it reduces the need for any surgery.
Super Pulsed Laser Therapy isn’t just limited to ankle sprains. It is very effective with heel pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and mild osteoarthritis. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes. Most injuries take anywhere from 3-6 sessions to reach maximum efficacy. We have found that upwards of 80-90% of our patients get significant pain relief.
Not everybody needs surgical intervention but her case should serve as a reminder of what could happen when ankle pain is ignored. If you are having any of the following symptoms:
- History of ankle sprains
- Ankle feels unstable when walking on uneven ground
- Painful “clicking” with movement of the joint.
Please do not hesitate to call us at (813) 875-0555 and make an appointment today to find out more about all the treatment options that we have available for you.
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