Injuries can happen due to various reasons and events. Physical injuries are a common medical issue and one of the top cases in hospital emergency departments. Exercises and sports activities are good to keep us healthy and fit. Due to increasing demand and popularity, sports and exercises are already an industry. Sports and physical exercise are the main cause of physical injuries other than road traffic accidents. Many approaches have been invented, discovered, and implemented to reduce physical injuries either due to road traffic accidents or sports activities. Warming up and using suitable sport attires and equipment help reduce the risk of sustaining any physical injuries. Safe driving and many safety features in vehicles are ways to reduce the impact of road traffic accidents and to some extent may prevent any physical injuries. Treatments for major injuries are available in all hospitals in Malaysia. Please come immediately and do not go for any other ‘healers’ as a medical evaluation in the primary intervention for any physical injuries.

The following are the common physical injuries:

  • Ankle sprain and ankle injuries
  • Groin pull
  • Tennis elbow
  • Knee injury
  • Shin splints

Ankle injuries are the most common injuries. Ankle injuries are the top physical injuries presented in the emergency department and clinics. An ankle sprain is an example of ankle injuries. Most ankle injuries are due to an ankle sprain. In other words, an ankle sprain is the most common injury. The outer part of the ankle is more often injured compared to the inner part. Ankle sprain that involves only the outer part of the ankle is known as a lateral ankle sprain. Females are more common to suffer from ankle sprain compared to males. Adults are at a lower risk of developing ankle sprain compared to children.

The risk factors of developing ankle sprain are:

  • Limited dorsiflexion
  • Lack of balance
  • Reduction in proprioception (sense of joints movement)
  • Types of sports or physical activities

The types of ankle sprains are:

  • Medial ankle sprain (inner part of the ankle)
  • Lateral ankle sprain
  • High ankle sprain

Forced eversion of the ankle is the main mechanism causing a medial ankle sprain. A lateral ankle sprain is usually a result of the inverted plantar-flexed foot. Eversion or dorsiflexion of the ankle will cause a high ankle sprain. Ankle sprain has its grading system. They are graded into:

  • Grade I
  • Grade II
  • Grade III

Grade I ankle sprain is characterized by mild stretching of the ligament and the tear can only be observed with the aid of a microscope. Grade II ankle sprain is more severe than grade I ankle sprain. Grade II ankle sprain is characterized by an incomplete tear of the ligament while grade III ankle sprain is when the ligament is completely torn. The clinical features are:

  • Ankle pain
  • Difficulty to walk or unable to walk
  • Swollen ankle
  • Ankle bruising

The initial intervention in treating patients with an ankle sprain are:

  • Patients are required to rest
  • Cold compression of the affected ankle to reduce swelling
  • Cryotherapy
  • Elevate the affected leg above the heart level

Painkillers are usually given to reduce pain and eliminate discomfort. Grade II and III ankle sprains will require aircast or elastic wrap to immobilize the injured ankle. Lastly, functional rehabilitation to restore joint mobility and function will be carried out.

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