When the ligaments which support the ankle are injured or torn is is considered an ankle sprain. Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissue which hold the bones in place. While they are meant to be flexible, they can become overtaxed and tear. A sudden twist can cause them to stretch too far and snap. Ankle sprains are ranked using grades:
People are at a greater risk for spraining an ankle if you:
Ankle sprains cause:
Usually the more severe the symptoms, the more severe the sprain. To determine how severe the sprain is, the doctor will use x-rays to view the tissues and they may utilize an MRI.
Sprains can heal on their own and usually have to. When the sprain is especially severe surgery may be required to remove bits of torn ligaments, bone, or cartilage. Surgery can also be used to repair the ligament or reconstruct it using biologic material. Resting and icing the ankle will be helpful for all sprains and if necessary the doctor can provide you with a brace or air cast to provide support. Compression bandages can be worn and the ankle should be elevated to minimize swelling. Pain relievers will also help during the initial healing period. The doctor can prescribe medication if the pain is very difficult to deal with. Once you are able, stretching and strengthen exercise will help to prevent reinjuring the ankle.