Ankle Sprain Types
Ankle sprain grades and treatment, what do you need to know? There are 3 degrees of ankle sprain grades and the treatment is a little different for each degree. But before we discuss ankle grade sprains and treatment, let’s talk about ankle sprain types. The type of ankle sprain is based upon location and the tissues involved.
Lateral ankle sprain: This is a common injury in athletes, making up 75% of all ankle sprains, and occurs when your ankle turns inwards. The structure that is often affected and sprained is call the the anterior talo-fibular ligament, however other structures such as the calcaneofibular ligament, and the peroneal tendons can also be impacted as well. The reason lateral ankle sprains are more common is because of how the ankle is structured. A bony piece called the lateral malleolus prevents your foot from rolling too far outwards, but there is not much stopping the foot from rolling inwards.
Medial ankle sprain: These make up a smaller portion of ankle sprains, about 25%, and occurs when your ankle turns outwards. The deltoid ligament is often affected with this kind of sprain, however, it’s not uncommon to see injury of the posterior tibialis, a muscle that helps you turn your foot inwards. As mentioned above, there are bony structures that make this type of ankle sprain less likely, however, this also means if this type of sprain does happen, the bony structure has likely been fractured. Isolated medial ankle sprains are rare.
High ankle sprain (Syndesmotic Sprain): This type of ankle sprain makes up approximately 6% of acute ankle sprains and occurs when the foot is flexed towards your face and rotated outwards. These typically take the longest to heal because it affects what’s known as the tibiofibular syndemosis, a thick web of connective tissue that holds the two bones in the lower leg together.