Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Delayed conservative treatment of an acute lateral ankle sprain in a non-athlete female following walking boot immobilisation
  1. Tyler Matherne,
  2. Jennifer Cooke,
  3. Michael McMorris and
  4. Michael Gross
  1. Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina System, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tyler Matherne, tylerjm026{at}


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.

  • orthopaedics
  • physiotherapy (rehabilitation)
  • ankle sprains
  • ankle instability
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • 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.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.