Jock Doc

What to do if you keep spraining your ankle when you play basketball

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after injuring his ankle during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, March 10, 2019.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after injuring his ankle during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, March 10, 2019. AP

Q. I am a 17-year-old basketball player who has sprained my right ankle three times this year, which has caused me to miss several games and practices with the injuries. I have tried wearing high-top sneakers, which have helped some but I am frustrated that I keep turning my ankle. I would appreciate any advice.

A: Most ankle sprains are caused by turning your ankle inwards, injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Repeated sprains can result in the ligaments healing improperly, resulting in ankle instability.

I recommend you see a sports medicine orthopedic physician or foot specialist to determine if significant ligament laxity exists in your right ankle.

Treatment options include physical therapy to regain motion, strength and normal proprioception. Special orthotics (inserts) can be made for your athletic shoes to help prevent turning your ankle inwards.

Your athletic shoes should be evaluated to determine if they are the right brand for your foot type in decreasing injury risk.

The Miami Heat players tape or brace their ankles for practices and games to also decrease their risk of injury.

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