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Team USA’s Jozy Altidore Suffers Ankle Sprain

Soccer is one of the most enjoyed sports on the world stage.  With the world cup competition starting in less than two weeks, the US team is gearing up for some competitive battles.  Unfortunately, the US forward, Jozy Altidore, suffered an ankle sprain this past Wednesday.  Xrays taken of his ankle reportedly showed no breaks (fractures).  This is good news for team USA.


Ankle sprains are very common injuries.  In the US alone, approximately 25,000 ankle sprains occur every day.  Not all of these individuals seek medical care.  Most walk it off and resume life with little or no consequences.  The question is when should you be concerned that you have a serious ankle sprain or something worse and see a doctor.   I will get to this question later in the blog.

Most people sprain their ankle with an inversion type injury.  This is where the foot rolls in and the ankle rolls out.  This stretches and may tear the ligaments on the outer part of the ankle.  Outer ligaments of the ankle are always injured in the common ankle sprain.

However, in severe cases, the ligaments on the inner part of the ankle (medial ankle sprain) or between the ankle bones (high ankle sprain) can be injured.  The medial and high ankle sprains will be topics for future blogs.


When an ankle is sprained, one may experience pain, swelling, bruising, weakness and even a black and blue mark.  Usually people have some level of pain with motion of the ankle.  Rest, ice, elevation, an ace wrap and antiinflammatories can help relieve some of these symptoms.  But when these symptoms last for more than a week, it is probably best to see a physician to make sure that you do not have a more serious injury.

Some of the serious injuries that can be associated with an ankle sprain include: tearing or dislocating a tendon on the outer back part of the ankle, breaking a bone in the ankle or foot, tearing more than one ligament in the ankle, or having a medial or high ankle sprain.   If you are concerned that you have one of these injuries, you should see a physician.

Finally, some people roll their ankles and are not able to put any weight on the ankle due to pain.  These individuals should also see a doctor.


Initially, after a routine ankle sprain, rest, ice, elevation, an ace wrap and antiinflammatories can help relieve some of these symptoms.  For many people, physical therapy is eventually necessary to help regain range of motion and strength of the ankle.  Physical therapy has been shown in the medical literature to be very beneficial in preventing what is known as “chronic ankle pain”.  Some physicians may want you to use an ankle brace for a short period of time, while others may not want you to use one at all.  Rarely is surgery needed.


Most individuals with routine ankle sprains are able to return to their lifestyles and activities fairly quickly, with little or no long term disabilities.

With only a mild ankle sprain, Altidore will hopefully be ready for competition in the opening round against England on June 12.

For a video animation on ankle sprains, please see the “Education” tab of my website.  Click orthopaedics, then conditions, and then ankle sprain to see the video.


Dr. P

All material published through this blog/website is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Dr. Parekh and Duke University will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the discussions in this blog.

Selene Parekh, M.D.

Selene Parekh, M.D. (also known as the “Fantasy Doctor”) is an orthopaedic surgeon and foremost expert on sports injuries who’s fast becoming the go-to expert for the multibillion dollar fantasy sports industry.

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