The four time major champion Rory McIlroy is back on his feet and swinging at full speed. Earlier this summer the pro-golfer sustained a complete rupture of his left ATFL (anterior talo-fibular ligament). This is the most common type of ankle injury and is typically caused by rolling over the ankle. The ligaments of the ankle are very strong and the amount of force it takes to completely rupture them could lead to a fracture. In Rory McIlroy’s case he was playing a pickup soccer game with his friends and at the time of the injury he felt that he fractured his ankle but luckily did not. An ankle sprain however, can be just as severe and sometimes worse than an actual fracture. The ligaments of the foot are meant to prevent excessive motion and preserve the structure of the foot. Disruption of these ligaments can lead to instability of the ankle and foot joints.
Rory McIlroy’s ankle was treated with a few weeks of crutches and a boot.
This conservative method is gaining popularity for acute ankle injuries. The idea is that the doctor will dispense a boot which will hold the ankle in a good position for healing. The crutches are to prevent further separation of the ligaments that were injured. Combining this, with RICE therapy, (rest, ice, compression, elevation) the patient will typically bounce back quickly.
Physical therapy (PT) is also a key element in ankle injuries. After a period of non-weight bearing the body will tend to get weaker and stiffen up. Range of motion and strength are two key elements which any elite athlete cannot do without. Physical therapy will also help to realign the fibers of the ligaments which is necessary for proper function. Stabilization of the ankle is a very important goal during the rehabilitation period. PT exercises will retrain the body to achieve optimum function of the ligaments in their role as ankle stabilizers. Rory McIlroy will continue to rehab his ankle for the next few months and will anticipate full recovery before the end of the year.
If you or a loved one have suffered an ankle injury feel free to call the doctors of Advanced Podiatry. Drs. Katz, Cruz, and Patel have a combined experience of 30+ years in treating ankle injuries. We also pride ourselves in our conservative approach to minimize recovery periods and avoid surgery. Call today 813-875-0555 to make your appointment.