Earlier this month tennis great Serena Williams lost to fellow American Sloane Stephens. This young athlete, Sloane Stephens, deserves all credit for a match well played and won. Unfortunately, for Ms. Williams the multiple injuries she has been working through the past few years have showed their heads while playing in this latest tournament. The final day of the Australian Open is absent Serena Williams after being waylaid by both a back and ankle injury.
It was only a few days ago that she tweeted this undated photo of her swollen ankle. According to ESPN, Williams had been especially protective of this ankle since foot surgeries and blood clots had her sidelined for most all of the 2011 season. She normally wears an ankle brace while playing. She is no doubt double guessing her decision to remove it during the second set when she rolled her ankle.
You need looks no farther than the Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists blog or the Austin Runners’/Heel Pain blog to see how much emphasis we place on ankle injuries. Serena Williams is a world class athlete and even she has succumbed to chronic ankle injury. The ligaments of your ankle do a lot to keep everything in proper alignment and functioning as they should be. There are three major ligaments that make up the lateral, or outside, portion of your ankle. Chronic sprains or injuries have been shown to completely destroy or eliminate some of the ligaments. When this happens, instability easily occurs and injury becomes more likely.
Tennis is only one of many sports that require strength and stability of the ankle joint. As a professional athlete, we are sure Serena did all she could over the past few years to recover from her injuries. Even so, the use of an ankle brace, or lack thereof, proved to the key to this injury. The next major tournament isn’t until May hopefully allowing Serena time to recover.
If you injure your foot or ankle, please visit Drs. Thomajan or Shine here in Austin, TX. Our expertise and that of colleagues at Three Lakes Physical Therapy and Wellness will have you on the road to recovery in no time.
Until next time, keep those ankles happy and healthy, Austin!