Frequently Asked Questions

I sprained my ankle last year so badly, I missed an entire season of sports. I was a junior then in high school. Now, I'm a senior and this year, I am presenting a display at a health fair on ankle sprains and prevention. Can you give me any information on this injury that might grab the attention of people passing by?

You might be interested in the results of a recent epidemiologic study. An epidemiological study is one that looks at the patterns of health and illness. By looking at who sprains their ankle, it is possible to identify associated risk factors with the idea of preventing the problem. Every year two million Americans suffer an acute ankle sprain. About half of those people hurt themselves during an athletic event -- but not everyone. The other half were ordinary men and women. And these figures don't even represent the numbers of teens and adults who see their primary care physician for an ankle sprain. And they certainly don't represent the numbers of people who don't see anyone but just try and treat it themselves. The lack of health insurance (a hot topic in the U.S. right now) may be a factor as well. The economic (health care) cost of ankle sprains each year in the United States is two billion dollars! And that doesn't even include the cost of time lost at work, loss of productivity on-the-job, or the cost of long-term disability. Ankle sprains is a great topic for your presentation since this is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries around. Given the large numbers of people of all ages who have had an ankle sprain, you probably won't have any trouble drawing a crowd. we hope this information will help. Good luck!

Captain Brian R. Waterman, MD, et al. The Epidemiology of Ankle Sprains in the United States. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2010. Vol. 92. No. 13. Pp. 2279-2284.

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