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ATFL Strain: All You Need To Know

About


Injury in the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), a band of tissues located on the outside of the ankle.


ATFL strain is the most common among injuries to the ankle. [1]


- Treatable by medical professionals
- Requires medical diagnosis
- Lab tests and imaging are often required
- Short term: gets better in a few weeks


This injury occurs when in the ankle-inversion movement, the tip of toes points away from leg, i.e. in plantar-flexion (for ex. when standing on tip of toes). The strain occurs when the ligament is stretched excessively. It can occur while running, cutting, landing from a jump or even direct contact. A tear or pop can be heard on rare occasions.


People affected: Males between 14-25 years and females over 30 years are more affected, athletes having highest risks.


Symptoms


Medically-diagnosable
ATFL strains are classified into Grade I, II, and III and symptoms are mild, moderate and severe respectively in these.


People may experience:
Pain: In lateral ankle or foot
Swelling: Immediate, in ankle or foot
Restricted motion of the ankle
Difficulty: In bearing weight over the ankle


Treatment


Self-care: Take adequate rest, apply ice and compression to relieve pain and keep the ankle elevated on pillows while lying down.


Medications: Anti-inflammatory pain relievers are commonly prescribed, to help with pain and inflammation both. Common analgesics or narcotics can be used as alternatives if these don’t work.


Supportive measures: The doctor may require ankle to be placed in a cast or brace, or crutches may be used for no-weight bearing of the ankle. Therapy starts after a week to increase range of motion.
We at mfine, specialize in orthopaedics and our endeavour is to provide hassle-free treatment, engage with us to benefit from our wholesome treatment plans.

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