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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}

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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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  • Contributors Both authors have made substantial contributions to this editorial. They both participated in the concept and drafting and revising the manuscript. Both authors have read the manuscript and agreed to submission for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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