A Doctor’s View on Lebron’s Rare Ankle Injury
by ORTAK CALISMA on Mar 22, 2021
Lebron James sustained an injury to his ankle during last night's game against the Atlanta Hawks, leaving fans wondering what the rest of the season will look like for the NBA legend. The injury occurred when a member of the Hawks team collided with James' right leg, applying a valgus force which pushed his knee inward, resulting in an eversion ankle sprain, where the ankle rolls inward, leaving the sole of the foot facing out.
"This is definitely a unique situation," says Dr. Brian Sutterer an expert in physical medicine and rehabilitation. "With an eversion ankle sprain, that inner portion of the ankle and the foot are going to come down towards the ground, as opposed to an inversion, it's going to be the outer ankle that gets stressed."
In addition to the eversion injury, Sutterer also spots some external rotation of the foot in the game footage, which he explains can contribute to another kind of injury known as a high ankle sprain. He also expresses some concern about the medial collateral ligament in the knee, which could have faced some strain following the other player's impact.
"As that player comes in and pushes LeBron's knee inward, that's going to pull and stress that MCL ,causing stress and injury," he says.
"His return, ultimately, will depend on, of course, how bad the ligament damage is, but then also if there is in fact injury to the MCL in the knee, and then if this is more of a high ankle sprain as opposed to the more traditional lower ankle sprain," Sutterer concludes. "I expect him to get an MRI to look at these ligaments, we'll hear more about the knee, and then we'll have a better sense of how LeBron could be helped."