Children and Young People’s Physiotherapy Service CYP Physiotherapy/MSK/ Ankle Soft Tissue Injury
Information Version number 3 (CYP code: 2.7.3 )
Date of Issue: July 2017
Date of review: August 2022
Review Date: August 2024
If review date has passed, the content will apply until the next version is published
Management Advice after Ankle Soft Tissue Injury
Soft tissue ankle injuries (strains and sprains) are quite common in children and young people. It is normal to have pain and stiffness afterwards. Restoring normal movement and walking as soon as possible is very important to avoid post-injury stiffness and weakness. The more you move and use your leg, the faster it will heal. Regular use of ice and painkillers are important to manage swelling and discomfort. If you are ‘too sore to move’ this will slow your recovery.
If you have been given a moon boot or crutches, this is for support and reassurance only.
- You should aim to have stopped using the moon boot within 1 week. It should NOT be kept on for longer than 2 weeks.
- You do NOT need to be seen by Physiotherapy first to remove the moon boot.
This can be done in short spells with the boot taken off and doing the suggested exercises on the next page.
- Moving your ankle the first few times without the moon boot can be uncomfortable, but “little and often” is helpful.
- This is particularly true for younger children who can be quite anxious and may need extra support and encouragement.
If you have been given crutches, gradually decrease the use of them over the next few days. Trying to put as much weight as possible on your ankle over the next few days will also aid your recovery.
If you have been discharged with a moon boot /on crutches, you will be referred for Physiotherapy.
Following the advice before attending the appointment is important and will speed up your recovery.
These simple exercises below will help you get your movement back:
Lying on your back or sitting. Bend and straighten your ankles briskly. If you keep your knees straight during the exercise your will stretch your calf muscles. Repeat 10x increasing to 30x
Sitting with your foot on the floor. Alternately raise the inner border of your foot (big toe) and then outer border (little toe). Repeat 10x increasing to 30x
Most soft tissue injuries can take 4 to 6 weeks to resolve.
You should gradually return to normal activities over this time.
Once you have full movement, strength and no swelling you should feel confident to return to full activities.
If your symptoms are not improving, please attend your GP for further assessment or complete a Physiotherapy Request for Assistance form on our website on NHS Fife at www.nhsfife.org. or contact the Children and Young People’s Physiotherapy service on Fife.email@example.com
If you require this information in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, audio, large print, BSL, Easy Read please contact the Equality and Human Rights Team at: email: fife.EqualityandHumanRights@nhs.scot or phone 01592 729130. For people with a hearing or verbal impairment you can also contact the team via the NHS Fife SMS text service number on 07805800005.
You can also find health related information on many topics in an Easy Read format on nhsinform.scot.