LittlePeopleLogo     Ankle Sprain


What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is a stretching or tearing injury to one or more ligaments that bind together the bones of the ankle joint.

How does it occur?

A sprain is caused by twisting your ankle, usually by turning your foot in or under.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

• mild aching to sudden pain

• swelling

• discoloration

• inability to move the ankle properly

• pain with or without weight bearing.

How it is treated?

Apply ice packs to your ankle for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for the first 2 to 3 days. You should elevate your ankle by placing a pillow underneath your foot. Try to keep your ankle above the level of your heart.

Your doctor may give you an elastic bandage to wrap around your ankle to keep the swelling from getting worse.

Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or other pain medication.

You will be given ankle exercises to improve your ankle strength and range of motion. The exercises will help you return to your normal activity or sports.

How long will the effects last?

The length of recovery depends on many factors:

• age

• health

• severity of injury and previous injuries to that joint.

How can I help prevent ankle sprain?

To help prevent ankle sprain, follow these guidelines:

• Wear proper, well-fitting shoes when you exercise.

• Stretch gently and adequately before and after athletic or recreational activities.

• Avoid sharp turns and quick changes in direction and movement.

• Consider taping the ankle or wearing a brace for strenuous sports.