Lateral Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability

Lindsay Harris

Lateral Ankle Sprains (LAS) account for 85% of sports related injuries having a major impact financially both on the medical system, and the elite athlete as they spend time off the track and field. Despite this huge statistic only 50% of people who sustain this injury seek medical attention.

Chronic Ankle Instability occurs in up to 70% of people who sustain LAS. Sadly, these patients can suffer with pain for more than a year. They are hindered by one of many deficits which many include range of motion, strength, balance, and functional ability.

As physiotherapists we need to understand the terminology which is often used “loosely” around these injuries. Understanding how to assess these LAS and CAI patients, when to refer for x-rays or to a specialist, by breaking the assessment and treatment into a neat paradigm is discussed. Balance tests and functional outcome measures are suggested.

If you have a special interest in the foot and ankle or are never sure where your patient’s ankle injury is in the injury timeline, and why you may not be gaining ground despite ongoing manual treatment and exercise prescription – this presentation will shed some light.

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