Ankle sprain

Runner with sprained ankle
Getty Images under licence to PhysioQinetics Ltd.


What causes ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury to the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that surround and connect the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury typically happens when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way, forcing the ankle joint out of its normal position. This can stretch or tear the ligaments that hold your ankle bones and joints together.

It most commonly involves the ligaments on the outside of the ankle and occurs when you roll the ankle inwards. Symptoms of a sprained ankle include pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty weight-bearing and ankle stiffness (most commonly pointing the toes or turning the foot inwards is restricted by pain). 


Runner on rough ground
Getty Images under licence to PhysioQinetics Ltd.


Treatment for ankle sprain

Physiotherapy following an ankle sprain will involve manual treatment to restore range of movement, as well as strategies to reduce swelling and facilitate tissue healing.

Our Physiotherapy treatment may include:


Surgery for sprained ankles is rarely required. It may be performed when the damage to the ligaments is severe and there is evidence of instability, or when the injury fails to improve with nonsurgical treatment. Surgical options include an arthroscopy or ligament reconstruction.



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