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Not just a 'simple' ankle sprain

Despite being extremely common and debilitating, only 50% of people who sprain their ankle seek medical attention. It is commonly believed that ankle sprains are "simple" injuries which will heal on their own with time, however this may not be the case!

What are the possible complications from an ankle sprain?

Following an ankle sprain, a large percentage of people will develop chronic ankle instability. Chronic ankle instability is the feeling of your ankle "giving way" during physical activities or walking on uneven surfaces, resulting in recurrent ankle sprains. This is the leading cause developing ankle arthritis, which can impact your quality-of-life.

What should you do after an acute ankle sprain?

Consult your local podiatrist! Our podiatrists will first obtain a thorough history and perform a full ankle assessment to examine the involved ligaments and degree of instability. Any fractures or tendon injury will be identified if required.

Though RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) may be helpful in the early stages, current research shows that RICE alone is NOT beneficial in acute ankle sprains. Our podiatrists will follow evidence-based treatment guidelines to provide progressive exercises, pain-relief and taping/bracing. Sometimes, more supportive offloading devices will be required (e.g. Moon boots, splinting etc).

Can laser therapy be used for acute injuries?

Laser therapy has been used for many years on acute or chronic sporting injuries. There are many published scientific studies which show that it is and effective treatment. Sooner, rather than later, it is beneficial to initiate laser therapy following an acute ankle sprain to facilitate the body's recovery and healing process.

Do you have chronic ankle instability?

Majority of patients will avoid having chronic ankle instability with appropriate podiatric care and exercise rehabilitation. However, patients with chronic ankle instability may benefit from a supportive custom ankle brace (e.g. Ritchie Brace) or possibly a referral to a specialist podiatric surgeon.

More information

For more information or if you've recently sprained your ankle, call on 08 9316 3010 or email at

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