Lateral ankle sprains are a common injury with an estimated occurrence rate of 23 000 per day in the USA. Prolonged immobilisation and delayed referral to physical therapy are associated with poorer outcomes. The patient was a 49-year-old woman working as a surgical technologist. She sustained an inversion injury to her left ankle while descending from a stool. Her primary care physician examined her, issued a Controlled Ankle Movement (CAM) walking boot and immobilised her ankle for 6 weeks. Patients with grade I and II lateral ankle sprains who are treated with early mobilisation and referral to physical therapy have demonstrated earlier return to function compared with patients who are treated with prolonged immobilisation and delayed referral. Nevertheless, it remains common for individuals who have sustained a lateral ankle sprain to be immobilised. This case study highlights the importance of early mobilisation and early physical therapy referral for patients with lateral ankle sprains.
- physiotherapy (rehabilitation)
- ankle sprains
- ankle instability
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Contributors TM was the lead author, and the patient was under the care of TM. JC, MM and MG contributed to editing and writing of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
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