Madonna Sprains Ankle - World Stops to Watch (and Blog)

It was reported that while on a trip to Africa to tour orphanages to possibly adopt another child (admirable), Madonna had exercise equipment flown in. While on the treadmill, she flew off the back of it and twisted her ankle. The pain was enough to have her writhing in pain and forced her to cancel her tour. Fortunately, she will be able to take her newly adopted daughter home this weekend.

Ankle sprains are often written off as minor injuries, although there is very often torn ligaments involved. If it is not addressed in a proper fashion, the ligaments will heal in a stretched position, leading to future ankle instability.

A recent study had shown that a sprained ankle addressed quickly with immobilization fared much better than others that were not well-addressed. No surprise! Immobilization maintains the ankle in a stable position and allows the ligaments and other damaged tissues to heal well.

As with many sports injuries, the RICE principle applies: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. To run on a sprained ankle is only doing you a great disservice. The long term damage that can be done by not resting after an injury can dramatically increase the likelihood of future injuries.

Ice will help to reduce and limit inflammation and swelling. This will also minimize the pain involved. The rule of thumb for icing is 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off. Compression can be as simple as a using an ACE bandage or elastic ankle brace. That, along with elevation, helps to also moderate swelling and provides stability to the ankle.

I'm sure Madonna will be back in good marching order shortly (or she'll hire people to carry her around). One has to think though, wouldn't it have just been easier to go outside for a run?
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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