Certified Athletic Trainer, Rick Peters, wrote an article for dealing with an in-game ankle injury quickly and efficiently.
“When an ankle injury occurs during competition all eyes turn to the athletic trainer to assess the severity of the injury and report on when they can safely get the player back in the game. Athletic trainers are expected to act quickly and efficiently under pressure, whether it be from the coach or on a national stage such as professional sporting event, which is why it’s important to correctly diagnose and remedy in-game ankle injuries as they happen.”
Rick Peters three tips are as follows:
- Injury Evaluation – Determine the extent of the injury to evaluate whether or not the athlete can return to competition. If it is determined that that athlete can return to competition if the ankle is sufficiently stabilized proceed to steps 2 and 3.
- Stabilize the Ankle – Using whatever method you or the athlete are most comfortable with, stabilize their ankle joint so that they cannot injure themselves further. It is important to note that if they are still feeling pain in the ankle when walking/moving around, then a different treatment technique should be used, such as an ankle brace, or they should not re-enter the game.
- Relieve Weight Bearing Pain – If the athlete continues to suffer from weight bearing pain and still needs to re-enter the game, they can always reduce that weight bearing pain by using an ankle brace that “unloads” or “offloads” the ankle. Taping, lace-ups, or any brace with a soft bottom cannot unload the ankle – instead they will need to use a semi-rigid bottom, hinged-cuff ankle brace. Not all semi-rigid, hinged-cuff braces are the same so it is important to research whether they can reduce weight bearing pain as well as provide joint immobility.
If you are an AT assigned on a sport that has a high potential for ankle injuries (football, basketball, etc.) it is important to know how to effectively recognize and treat an ankle injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, a player could continue on in a game or be sidelined for months.
An ankle brace has become an essential item for treating ankle injuries. It’s used to unload and ease weight bearing pain to treat and rehabilitate an ankle injury.
View our available ankle braces & ankle splints.