Sprain: understand what is the injury suffered by Neymar in the World Cup

Neymar’s dramatic departure from the field in the second half of the opening game of the Brazilian National Team in the World Cup in Qatar, against Serbia, this Thursday (24/11), left the fans apprehensive. The number 10 turned his right foot abruptly after a fight with lateral Milenkovic, causing an ankle sprain.

“Neymar sprained his right ankle, it was a direct trauma. He had edema, swelling, we started the treatment. He is still undergoing physiotherapy treatment”, said the team’s doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, during a press conference shortly after the match.

The doctor pointed out that the player remained on the field for another 11 minutes after the sprain, enduring the pain in his ankle. “This is also important data to consider the evolution of the player. Neymar remained in the two goals we scored, feeling his ankle. The team needed him. In both goals, I was already feeling the injury, ”he said.

What is ankle sprain?

Sprain is one of the most common joint injuries in the active population and occurs with great frequency in athletes during sports practice. It occurs when we make a lateral movement of the foot with greater intensity than normal. In everyday life, the sprain can occur while walking on uneven ground or climbing a step, for example.

In these contexts, there is stretching or tearing of the lateral ligaments, those on the outer side of the ankle.

THE Brazilian Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology (SBOT) explains that the lateral stability of the ankle is provided by the bone structure and by a support mechanism composed of three main ligaments: anterior talofibular, posterior talofibular and talocalcaneus.

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Minutes after leaving the field, Neymar was seen on the bench covering his face with his shirt while receiving care and limped away. The sprain can cause pain, swelling, bruising at the site from internal blood leakage, and difficulty walking. The more severe the injury, the more intense the symptoms can be.


The treatment aims to reduce pain and swelling so that the patient is able to progressively return to daily activities and avoid complications such as ligament instability.

Depending on the severity, rest, ice packs, ankle elevation and joint protection with immobilizer or plastered splint may be indicated, in addition to the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (in the case of athletes, there are specific types of medication and amounts to avoid doping). and physiotherapy.

In mild injuries, symptoms usually improve within one to two weeks. In the most severe cases, with complete injuries, the use of joint protection with semi-rigid immobilizers for a long time is indicated.


The diagnosis is usually made with the observation of symptoms by an orthopedist. When fractures are suspected, complementary tests such as X-rays or MRI may be requested.

Neymar’s medical team reported that the athlete woke up with his ankle still swollen and will undergo imaging tests this Friday (11/25) to assess the severity of the condition.

According to the SBOT, approximately 15% to 20% of ankle sprains may evolve with some type of complication, including chronic ligament instability.

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