Anna Kournikova, Tennis Player
Often, the ankle is tender, swollen, and discolored. Walking may be
difficult, depending on the severity of the sprain.
The physician examines the ankle to identify the type of ankle sprain and
determine the appropriate method of treatment. Ankle sprains are classified by
"types" and range from mild to moderate to severe. A type I ankle
sprain, the least severe, occurs when ligament fibers have been stretched or
Type II sprains occur when some of these fibers or ligaments are completely
torn. In type III sprains, the entire ligament is torn, and there is
significant instability of the ankle joint.
Classifying ankle sprains helps the physician diagnose the specific
structures involved in the injury. This also helps determine appropriate
treatment plans for each type of ankle sprain. X-rays of the ankle and foot are
often used to rule out bone fractures, dislocations, or joint instability.
Sometimes, the physician may recommend computerized tomography (CT) and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if he or she wants more detailed views of the
bone and soft tissue around the ankle joint.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following to
help reduce ankle injury risk:
- Warm up before any sports activity, including practice.
- Participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength.
- Do stretching exercises daily.
- Never run when experiencing pain in the foot or ankle.
- Wear protective equipment appropriate for that sport.
- Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread or heel wears out.
- Wear properly fitting athletic clothes and equipment.
Most ankle sprains heal in three to eight weeks. In more severe cases,
ligaments may require more healing time to promote ankle stability. Repeated
ankle sprains may cause chronic instability, interfering with walking or sports
Kournikova missed the Italian Open tournament in Rome that started on May
15th. She hopes to recover enough to play in the French Open beginning