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Structured clinical assessment: a brake to stop the ankle joint ‘rolling’
  1. Eamonn Delahunt1,2,
  2. Phillip A Gribble3
  1. 1 School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 Institute for Sport & Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eamonn Delahunt, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, University College Dublin, Health Science Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland; eamonn.delahunt{at}ucd.ie

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Lateral ankle sprains are the most prevalent lower limb musculoskeletal injury incurred by individuals who participate in sports and recreational physical activities.1 2 The prevalence of lateral ankle sprains is also high among the general population and hence, the ‘simple ankle sprain’ constitutes a substantial healthcare burden.1 2

It is not just a ‘simple ankle sprain’

The misconception that acute lateral ankle sprains are benign injuries pervades clinical practice across many healthcare disciplines. Colloquial terms such as a ‘rolled’ ankle or ‘twisted’ ankle are commonly used to describe an acute lateral ankle sprain injury. Up to 50% of individuals who incur an acute lateral ankle sprain do not seek formal healthcare management for their injury.3

In reality, there is no such thing as a ‘simple ankle sprain’.4 This is evidenced by the high propensity for the development of long-term injury-associated symptoms such as persistent …

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