Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a forward on the Charlotte Hornets, left last Friday’s double overtime game against the Washington Wizards with a left ankle sprain. The Hornets announced that the former Kentucky star will not return for the remainder of the season.


What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain occurs when ligaments connecting the foot and ankle bones overstretch or tear. These sudden injuries cause pain both at the time it occurs and throughout the healing process.

Often when the foot lands off balance by a sudden sideways motion, twist, or misstep, muscles give away and allow the ankle joint to move too far causing the sprain. Depending on the severity of the sprain, swelling and bruising may extend from ankle into foot.

There are 3 types of ankle sprains:

Inversion (lateral) ankle sprain:

The most common type of ankle sprain occurs when the foot is inverted too much, affecting the lateral (outer) side of the foot. The anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments are overstretched and damaged causing pain and swelling on the outer side of the ankle and foot.

lateral ankle sprain

Eversion (medial) Ankle Sprain: 

The eversion ankle sprain affects the medial (inner) side of the foot. When the ankle rotates medially, the deltoid ligament is overstretched causing the sprain.

eversion sprain

High Ankle Sprain: 

A high ankle sprain is an injury to the large ligaments above the ankle that join together the two long bones of the lower leg, called the tibia and fibula. High ankle sprains commonly occur from a sudden and forceful outward twisting of the foot. This injury is very common is many contact sports. high ankle sprain


Treatment for this particular injury depends on the severity of the sprain. For mild to moderate pain, many doctors recommend the RICE test.

R-rest (no standing on foot for a day or 2)

I-ice (every 20 mins. use an ice pack to reduce the swelling)

C-compression (can be done with an elastic bandage)

E-elevate (keep your foot about heart level while resting)

Tapes, splints, and casts can all be used if the sprain is more severe. Immobilization helps torn tissues rest and heal in the proper position. Once healing is under way, ice and elevation can be help control the swelling around ankle and damaged ligaments.

Protect Your Feet:

1. Wear high top shoes to add stability.

2. Cushioned insoles.

3. Avoid tripping.

4. Avoid overuse of muscles.

5. Stretch before and after workouts.


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