Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick announced during his Monday press conference that strong safety Ed Reed suffered a high-ankle sprain during Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns.
Team doctors are still diagnosing the extent of the injury.
“The high-ankle sprain is always a concern,” said Billick. Different players respond to it differently — by position, by person. It would be ill-advised to project at this time, until the doctors are done with all the imaging, and see where they are with it.”
Ankle sprains occur when ligaments that connect the bones in the foot, ankle, and lower leg stretch or tear.
An inversion injury, the most common cause of ankle sprains, occurs when the ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward. It results in stretching and tearing of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. In a “high” ankle sprain, a less common type of inversion injury, the ligaments at the top and outside of the ankle are also torn, increasing the sprain’s severity and healing time.
Initial treatment for an ankle sprain is summarized as the PRINCE approach:
- Protection. Use a protective brace, such as an air stirrup or other form of ankle support, along with a compression wrap, such as an elastic ACE bandage, for the first 24 to 36 hours.
- Rest. Use crutches until walking is not painful without them.
- Ice. For the first 24 to 72 hours or until swelling goes down, apply ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours during the day. After 48 hours, contrast baths are also recommended.
- NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken as directed—not only when you have pain–around the clock for the first couple of days. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), naproxen (Aleve), and ketoprofen (Orudis KT).
- Compression. An elastic compression wrap will help decrease swelling and should be worn for the first 24 to 36 hours. Compression wraps do not offer protection, and a protective brace should also be worn if you try to bear weight on your injured ankle. Don’t apply the wrap too tightly. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage. See instructions on how to wrap an ankle with an elastic bandage.
- Elevation. Raise your ankle above the level of your heart for 2 to 3 hours a day if possible to decrease swelling and bruising.