The Truth About Sprained Ankles

The Truth About Sprained Ankles

It’s easy for someone who has never suffered from a sprained ankle to heal correctly.

While ankles might appear to stabilize your joints, any tear in them, whether it’s partial or complete, causes instability and is classified as an ankle sprain.

If a person is in good physical condition then the ankles are often strong enough to suffer a sprain: uneven pavements, a missed curb, a slight stumble while walking or a sudden pivot during a game of pickup basketball can cause ankle sprains.

People who do not exercise routinely (weekend athletes) are at risk for ankle sprains because their muscles are not used to seek treatment for an ankle sprain.

Sprains are classified by severity:

  • Grade 1 is the mildest, involving mild damage and stretching to the ligament fibers
  • Grade 2 involves partial tears to the ligaments
  • Grade 3 involves a complete rupture of the ligament and is the most serious of the three.

Signs of a sprained ankle include sudden pain, swelling and bruising, stiffness and warmth in the area, and the inability of that side to know which injury it is.

Proprioception is the word for the connection between the brain and the limb, and when an ankle is sprained, that important communicato the right muscles. Correcting this problem may take medical attention.

Sprained ankles can be extremely painful, and while taking anti-inflammatore the communication between brain and limb. Physical therapy treatments may include strengthening exercises, supportive braces and ultrasonic treatments.

Surgery may be needed for the most serious sprains in order tored.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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