ANKLE SPRAINankle_sprain.jpg

Classic Presentation

A ankle sprain is the most common type of injury to the ankle.  The patient complains of ankle pain and swelling following a twisting injury.  He/She does not recall how it happened but now it is swollen, and he/she has difficulty placing weight on it. 

Your foot is built to withstand motion and pressure.  Bones provide the framework.  Soft tissue, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, keep the bones stable and control movement.  Bones and nerves in the leg connect the foot to the spine.  Too many hours on your feet, sudden movements, or misaligned joints can lead to soft tissue and other problems.

It is often thought that ankle braces are the solution to prevent ankle sprains from occurring; however, no research has ever proven this to be the case.


Cause

The vast majority of of ankle sprains are the inversion sprains involving the lateral ligaments in a sequence of injury:  the anterior talofibular ligament, calcaneofibular ligament, and then the posterior talofibular ligament.  The more rare eversion sprain damages the medial ligament complex referred to as the deltoid ligament.  Causes may include stepping on uneven surface, landing on the outside of the heel, or running with too much cross-over or over-supination.  Ligament laxity plays important and ever-increasing role with subsequent sprains.

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