Sprained ankle : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment


What is a Sprained ankle?

Sprained ankle is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle that is caused by overextending the ankle joint beyond its normal range of motion. Symptoms of sprained ankle are pain, swelling, and limited mobility of the ankle. If the injury is severe, the individual may also experience bruising and difficulty standing or walking. Although rest and elevation are often enough to treat a minor sprain, more serious injuries may require physical therapy or immobilization in order to completely heal.

What is a Sprained ankle?
Sprained ankle

A sprained ankle occurs when ligaments in the ankle are stretched beyond their normal range of motion, tearing the fibers and resulting in pain and swelling. This can happen when the ankle is forced sideways, or when it rolls or twists. It's also possible to sprain an ankle by simply stepping wrong or landing awkwardly after a jump. Sprains can range from mild to severe, and will require different treatments depending on the severity of the injury.

  1. Musculoskeletal system

  1. Human skeleton

  2. Joints

  3. Ligaments

  4. Muscular system

  5. Tendons

Medical terms

  • Sprained ankle, or medically known as ankle sprain, is a common injury in which the ligaments supporting the ankle joint are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This causes tearing of the ligaments, resulting in pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty with weight-bearing activities. Treatment for a sprained ankle can include rest, ice, compression, elevation, and physical therapy. Without proper treatment, a sprained ankle can lead to chronic problems with instability and long-term pain.

  • Sprained ankle is a common type of injury that occurs when the ligaments of the ankle are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. It is caused when the ankle rolls inward, damaging the ligaments. Sprains can range from mild to severe and can lead to pain, swelling, bruising, instability, and difficulty walking. Treatment for a sprained ankle typically includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Types of ankle sprains

There are 3 varieties of ankle sprains based on how a whole lot ligament damage came about:

  • Grade 1 (Mild). The ligament fibers stretched barely or there may be a very small tear. Your ankle could have minor swelling and tenderness to touch.

  • Grade 2 (Moderate). The ligament is torn, however it isn’t a complete tear. Your ankle has swelling over the harm and it hurts to move.

  • Grade 3 (Severe). The ligament is torn absolutely. Your ankle has large swelling, the damage is painful and on foot is hard.

Symptoms Sprained ankle

Signs and signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. They can also include:

  • Pain, specifically whilst you endure weight on the affected foot

  • Tenderness while you contact the ankle

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Restricted range of motion

  • Instability inside the ankle

  • Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury

When to peer a doctor

Call your medical doctor when you have an ache and swelling on your ankle and you think it is a sprain. Self-care measures may be all you want, however speak to your medical doctor to talk about whether you need to have your ankle evaluated. If signs and symptoms and signs and symptoms are extreme, you could have tremendous damage to a ligament or a broken bone in your ankle or lower leg.

Causes Sprained ankle

Rolling or twisting the ankle causes ankle sprains. The maximum commonplace ankle sprains are the result of:

  • Falling or tripping on choppy surfaces.

  • Landing incorrectly after a bounce.

  • Losing balance.

  • Participating in sports activities that contain rolling or twisting your foot (basketball, soccer, football, tennis).

Risk factors Sprained ankle

Factors that boom your risk of a sprained ankle consist of:

  • Sports participation. Ankle sprains are a commonplace sports activity, specifically in sports activities that require leaping, cutting movement, or rolling or twisting of the foot along with basketball, tennis, football, football and trail jogging.

  • Uneven surfaces. Walking or running on choppy surfaces or negative area situations may increase the danger of an ankle sprain.

  • Prior ankle damage. Once you have sprained your ankle or had another type of ankle injury, you are much more likely to sprain it again.

  • Poor bodily situation. Poor power or flexibility in the ankles may additionally increase the danger of a sprain whilst participating in sports.

  • Improper footwear. Shoes that don't heal well or aren't suitable for an activity, in addition to high-heeled shoes in widespread use, make ankles more prone to damage.

Complications Sprained ankle

Failing to deal with a sprained ankle nicely, accomplishing activities too soon after spraining your ankle or spraining your ankle repeatedly would possibly lead to the following complications:

  • Chronic ankle pain

  • Chronic ankle joint instability

  • Arthritis inside the ankle joint

Prevention Sprained ankle

The following tips can help you save you a sprained ankle or a habitual sprain:

  • Warm up earlier than you exercising or playing sports.

  • Be cautious while walking, going for walks or working on an uneven surface.

  • Use an ankle air brace or tape on a vulnerable or previously injured ankle.

  • Wear shoes that are healthy and are made in your pastime.

  • Minimize sporting high-heeled footwear.

  • Don't play sports or take part in sports for which you aren't conditioned.

  • Maintain desirable muscle electricity and flexibility.

  • Practice balance education, together with balanced physical games.

What is the difference between a sprained ankle and a broken ankle (ankle fracture)?

  • A sprained ankle is usually a result of overstretched ligaments or tendons, which can happen during vigorous physical activity or a fall. A broken ankle, on the other hand, is typically caused by a severe force that breaks or fractures the bones in the ankle joint. The symptoms of a sprained ankle can include swelling, bruising, pain, and limited mobility, while a broken ankle can cause intense pain, swelling, difficulty walking, and deformity of the ankle. Diagnosis of an ankle injury is based on an individual’s medical history and a physical examination, with imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans being used to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Sprained and broken ankles are both common injuries that can occur due to a fall, accident, or other type of trauma. A sprained ankle is caused by the sudden stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support the ankle joint. This can be extremely painful and can cause swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Symptoms of a broken ankle, or an ankle fracture, can include swelling, tenderness, and bruising as well, but may also include popping or cracking noises when the injury occurs and extreme pain that worsens with movement.

Do I need surgery to treat my sprained ankle?

  • Sprains are common injuries that often occur when a joint is suddenly forced beyond its normal range of motion. While a sprained ankle can often be treated with at-home remedies such as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), sometimes surgery is necessary. Depending on the severity of the sprain, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to repair the torn ligaments or to realign the ankle joint if it has been displaced. Surgery for a sprained ankle can consist of repairing the ligaments, implanting additional hardware in the joint to increase stability, and removing displaced pieces of bone or cartilage.

  • Sprains are one of the most common injuries people experience. Whether you have recently suffered a sprain or you know someone who has, you may be wondering if surgery is required for treatment. In many cases, surgery is not necessary for a sprained ankle. Depending on the severity of the sprain, however, a patient may require surgery to repair the damage.

Diagnosis Sprained ankle

During a physical, your doctor will have a look at your ankle, foot and lower leg. The doctor will contact the pores and skin across the harm to test for points of tenderness and flow your foot to test the range of motion and to recognize what positions cause pain or ache.

If the damage is extreme, your physician may also advise one or more of the subsequent imaging scans to rule out a broken bone or to assess in extra detail the quantity of ligament damage:

  1. Electromyography
  • X-ray. During an X-ray, a small amount of radiation passes through your frame to produce snap shots of the bones of the ankle. This test is ideal for ruling out bone fractures.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs use radio waves and a sturdy magnetic area to provide specified cross-sectional or 3-D snap shots of soft inner structures of the ankle, such as ligaments.

  • CT scan. CT scans can screen extra detail about the bones of the joint. CT scans take X-rays from many exceptional angles and combine them to make cross-sectional or 3-D pix.

  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound makes use of sound waves to provide actual-time pix. These photos may assist your physician choose the circumstance of a ligament or tendon whilst the foot is in exclusive positions.

Treatment Sprained ankle

Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of your harm. The treatment goals are to reduce pain and swelling, heal the healing of the ligament, and restore features of the ankle. For excessive accidents, you'll be noted as a consultant in musculoskeletal accidents, such as an orthopedic medical professional or a health practitioner specializing in bodily remedy and rehabilitation.


For self-care of an ankle sprain, use the R.I.C.E. Method for the first  or three days:

  • Rest. Avoid activities that cause ache, swelling or soreness.

  • Ice. Use an ice p.C. Or an ice slush tub at once for 15 to 20 mins and repeat each  to 3 hours while you are conscious. If you have got vascular disorder, diabetes or reduced sensation, communicate along with your medical doctor earlier than making use of ice.

  • Compression. To assist stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don't hinder movement with the aid of wrapping too tightly. Begin wrapping on the cease farthest from your heart.

  • Elevation. To lessen swelling, increase your ankle above the level of your heart, particularly at night time. Gravity helps reduce swelling with the aid of draining excess fluid.


In maximum instances, over-the-counter ache relievers — such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) — are sufficient to control the pain of a sprained ankle.


Because walking with a sprained ankle is probably painful, you may want to use crutches until the pain subsides. Depending on the severity of the sprain, your doctor may also propose an elastic bandage, sports activities tape or an ankle guide brace to stabilize the ankle. In the case of an extreme sprain, a cast or walking boot may be vital to immobilize the ankle whilst it heals.


Once the swelling and ache is lessened sufficient to resume movement, your doctor will ask you to begin a chain of physical activities to repair your ankle's variety of motion, electricity, flexibility and stability. Your health practitioner or a bodily therapist will give an explanation for the proper method and development of exercises.

Balance and balance training is especially important to retrain the ankle muscle mass to paintings together to support the joint and to help save you recurrent sprains. These physical activities can also contain diverse tiers of balance projects, such as status on one leg.

If you sprained your ankle at the same time as exercise or taking part in a game, talk to your physician about it while you can resume your interest. Your physician or bodily therapist may want you to perform precise interest and movement checks to decide how properly your ankle functions for the sports you play.


In rare cases, surgery is performed when the harm does not heal or the ankle stays risky after an extended duration of physical therapy and rehabilitative exercising. Surgery can be finished to:

  • Repair a ligament that may not heal

  • Reconstruct a ligament with tissue from a nearby ligament or tendon

Preparing in your appointment

Schedule an appointment or get emergency medical care for suspected sprains that do not respond to self-care strategies or that motive endured ache or instability. If your sprain is excessive, you may be cited by a health practitioner who specializes in sports activities, medication or orthopedic surgical operation.

What you may do

You can also want to write down a listing that includes the following:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms

  • Information about clinical problems you've got had, specially past ankle injuries

  • All the medications and dietary supplements you're taking

  • Questions you need to ask the doctor

What to count on out of your medical doctor

Your health practitioner might also ask some of the subsequent questions:

  • How did the injury arise?

  • Which direction did your foot turn when you injured it?

  • Can you bear weight on that foot?

  • What self-care remedy have you used?

  • What impact did the remedy have?

  • Have you injured your ankle earlier than?

  • How has that harm been handled?

General summary

  1. Sprains are a common injury that can be caused by a variety of activities. In many cases, a sprain can be treated with simple at-home care and rest, but in some cases, it may require medical intervention. In order to determine if surgery is necessary to treat your sprained ankle, it is essential to have a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will review your medical history as well as assess the severity of the injury to determine the best course of action.

  2. Sprains and strains of the ankle are common injuries, often resulting from overuse or trauma. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) may help you heal without needing surgery. If the injury is more severe, surgery may be necessary to repair torn ligaments or tendons, or to remove bone fragments. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your particular injury.

  3. Sprains of the ankle are common injuries, usually caused by a twisting motion. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment for a sprained ankle can range from rest, ice, and physical therapy to surgery. When deciding whether to have surgery for a sprained ankle, there are many factors to consider. In some cases, surgery can decrease healing time and reduce pain, but it is not always necessary.

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