The Kansas City Chiefs finished Saturday’s divisional round playoff game on a high note, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 27-20. Apparently though, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a different type of high during the game: a high ankle sprain. According to ESPN, An MRI (MRI) performed on Sunday has confirmed this type of injury to Mahomes’ right ankle. Now, the “stop” on the high ankle sprain has nothing to do with one’s state of mind, though when his injury forced Mahomes out of yesterday’s game, it left Chiefs fans feeling pretty low. . No, the “high” was referring to where on his ankle the injury occurred. It also gave you an idea of what actions led to the injury and how long recovery may take.
High ankle sprains are less common than low ankle sprains, which is why low ankle sprains are often referred to as a common ankle sprain. High ankle sprains comprise about 14% of all ankle sprains, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery website. To understand the difference between going up and down, so to speak, we’re going to have to go over the anatomy of the ankle a bit.
But first, let’s explain what a sprain means. A sprain is stretching or tearing of a ligament. Ligaments are the fibrous tissues that connect one bone to another. You can thank the ligaments that all your joints don’t move or become unstable when you twerk. The following image shows the bones and ligaments in your foot and ankle, assuming you are human and not a centipede:
The two bones that make up the lower leg are the larger tibia and the smaller fibula. This paired pair of bones sits on top of the talus, which is the tallest bone in the foot. Together, these three bones form the ankle joint. Several ligaments connect these bones to make your ankle more stable. The names of these ligaments are giveaways from what they connect to and where they are located. For example, your anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) connects the front of your fibula and your talus. Anterior means front and posterior means back, so when you say you spent all Saturday night getting spanked, you mean what happened to your butt.
Low ankle sprains involve the ligaments lower down in the ankle, most commonly the ATFL. These usually result when you’re on a roll, so to speak. In most cases, it happens when the ankle is twisted inward due to a so-called inversion injury, such as when you accidentally step on the Groot figurine you left on the kitchen floor. Less commonly, you can sprain a low ankle when your ankle turns in the opposite direction, outward, in a so-called eversion injury.
In contrast, a high ankle sprain involves stretching or tearing of the ligaments “higher up” in the ankle that connect the two bones in the lower leg: the tibia and fibula. One of these ligaments is the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament which connects the fronts of the tibia and fibula. Another is the posteroinferior tibiofibular ligament, which connects the back of these two bones. A third is not really called a ligament, but rather is known as the interosseous membrane, since it sits in the space between the tibia and fibula and helps hold them together.
Given the anatomy, the mechanism by which high ankle sprains occur is different. They can occur when your foot flexes up and then turns in or out. In other words, when your foot is dorsiflexed, which means your foot bends toward your shin, something causes your foot to turn one way or the other. In this case, a direction does not refer to the band, but rather what happens when your foot twists to the right or left. This can happen when you cut yourself while running, jumping, or falling, such as when playing sports like football, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball or running uphill so that the person you dated after a Tinder date is the last. year does not see you
The high ankle sprain location can mean that the symptoms are not as severe as the damage, causing you to underestimate your injury. You can say, “This feels good,” soon after the injury and not feel as much pain or see as much swelling or bruising. It may not be until you actually try to do things like running, cutting, and twisting that you realize, “Uh-oh, something really isn’t right.”
These injuries usually do not require surgery unless a ligament has been completely torn. Initial treatment is usually RICE and less weight bearing for two weeks. In this case, RICE does not refer to the things you put on your sushi. It is an acronym for Rest, Icing, Compression, and Elevation. Resting means keeping the weight off your ankle and foot. Icing means applying ice for 15 minutes at a time, once every few hours. Compression means wrapping the area with an elastic bandage to keep swelling down. Of course, don’t wrap it so tight that you feel like your foot is going to fall off your leg. That would be counterproductive. Finally, elevation means keeping the ankle above the heart. All of this will help reduce swelling and pain in the ankle and promote healing.
After this initial period, the next step is to restore ankle strength and range of motion through physical therapy and various exercises. Of course, every injury and every person is different, but you can typically expect to return to sports within six to 12 weeks after the injury, assuming all goes well. Even after you return, it can be helpful to wear an ankle brace while playing sports for a while to keep your ankle protected from reinjury. Sometimes the symptoms can persist for up to six months.
Of course, if you’re a Chiefs fan, you can say, “But the AFC Championship game is in a week.” Clearly, the stakes are a little different from that West Side late-night adult league flag football game against the team captained by the person who once called him “doggo” at a happy hour. So the Kansas City team’s coaches may try to move the timeline forward, much earlier, depending on what Mahomes can handle. This will definitely mean that Mahomes will not be at 100% for next Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ideally, he wants to have full range of motion and full strength in the ankle before returning. He will want to make sure that his balance, coordination, and proprioception are back to normal as well. Proprioception is the ability to tell where different parts of his body are in space at any given time, which is why he doesn’t regularly hit his face.
The team’s coaches will have to make adjustments to such expectations if Mahomes takes the field next Sunday at GEHA Field in Arrowhead Stadium or whatever the Chiefs’ home field is called these days. He just reminds himself that the Mahomes situation is probably a little different from any situation you might face. So don’t rush his return to sports like that after such an injury. If not, he may be saying “Hello” to some shorter ones very soon.