Ankle Sprain

What is an ankle sprain?Ankle anatomy, ankle sprain
An ankle sprain is a stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the ankle. The ankle ligaments are demonstrated in the picture to the right. An ankle sprain is a common injury that results from twisting or turning the ankle past its normal range of motion.

Types of ankle sprains:

  1. Grade I – Minimal damage to ligament and minor pain
  2. Grade II – May have mild looseness of joint with some damage to joint. The patient may have a large amount of swelling or bruising, along with moderate pain.
  3. Grade III – Complete tears of the ligament and the ankle maybe unstable. Pain is sever, and usually putting pressure on the ankle is not bearable.

Fast facts:

  •  Become increasingly common with age
  • Common in adolescents
  • Seen often as a soccer, basketball, and football or tennis injury.
  • Performing activities on an uneven surface (such as trail running) increase the risk of an ankle sprain.


  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Bruising
  • Loss of range of motion of the ankle


  • Protect the ankle by using an ace bandage or support brace. As long as there is no broken bone, your child may weight bear.
  • Rest the ankle as much as possible the first few days after injury.
  • Ice maybe applied for 15-20 minutes every few hours for the first few days after injury to decrease pain and swelling. 
  • Elevation: Keep the ankle elevated above the level of the heart when in a resting position. 
  • Exercises started when the patient is able to bear weight on the foot and walk.

Prevention of ankle sprains:

  • Completing warm up exercises prior to sports or exercising.
  • Maintaining good muscle strength and flexibility.

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