Lacrosse: Treating and Preventing Ankle Sprains

Lacrosse has quickly risen in popularity over the last decade, with a participation growth of 218%. With more students taking part in this fast-paced sport, injuries are also on the rise.

Though lacrosse is considered a moderate risk sport (with the majority of injuries being minor strains, sprains and bruises), even the seemingly minor injuries can sideline a player.

Ankle sprains account for 21% of lacrosse injuries in girls and 16% in boys at the scholastic level. At the collegiate and high school levels, ankle sprains account for 17.7% of injuries in women and 14.4% for men.

These non-contact, ankle ligament sprains result from frequently cutting and dodging. The most common form of ankle sprain is called an inversion, where the foot/ankle rolls outward. Eversions, which happen less frequently, occur when the foot/ankle rolls inward.

Trainers and physicians rate the severity of an ankle sprain by using the following scale:

  • Grade I results in the ligament(s) stretching.
  • Grade II is a more severe, partial tearing of the ligament(s).
  • Grade III is a complete tear of the ligament(s).

Every ankle sprain is different, and even injuries that first appear to be a simple ankle twist can become an ankle sprain, requiring lengthier rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Less severe ankle injuries are usually managed by rest, ice, compression and elevation. As the healing continues, active range of motion and gradual manual resistance exercises are performed. Lacrosse-specific activities can be done after full range of motion and strength is achieved.

Before treatment, be sure to see a physician for proper evaluations. Your doctor will prescribe a rehabilitation program that is right for your injury. Please don’t hesitate to call us at the Bone & Joint Center in Holland for further consultation.