Ankle Sprain

Feet | Orthopaedics | Ankle Sprain (Disease)


A sprained ankle is also known by the name of twisted ankle, rolled ankle, floppy ankle, ankle injury or ankle ligament injury. It represents a common medical condition where one or more of the ligaments of the ankle are torn or partially torn.

With most sprains, you feel pain right away at the site of the tear. Often the ankle starts to swell immediately and may bruise. The ankle area is usually tender to touch, and it hurts to move it. In more severe sprains, hearing and/or feeling something tear, along with a pop or snap may be possible. Extreme pain at first and inability to walk or even put weight on the foot also occur.

Causes and Risk factors

Most ankle sprains happen when you make a rapid shifting movement with your foot planted. The following factors can contribute to an increased risk of ankle sprains: Weak muscles/tendons that cross the ankle joint, especially the muscles of the lower leg that cross the outside, or lateral aspect of the ankle joint; weak or lax ligaments that join together the bones of the ankle joint – this can be hereditary or due to overstretching of ligaments as a result of repetitive ankle sprains; poor ankle flexibility; lack of warm-up and/or stretching before activity; inadequate joint proprioception (i. e. sense of joint position); slow neuron muscular response to an off-balance position; running on uneven surfaces; shoes with inadequate heel support; and wearing high-heeled shoes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Initial treatment is with ice, rest, and limiting the amount of walking and weight bearing on the injured ankle. Anti-inflammatory medications can be given to reduce local inflammation. Severe injuries are placed in immobilization casts. Surgery may be needed for complete tears. Physical therapy programs are part of the rehabilitation process, incorporating strengthening exercises of the lower leg muscles...

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