An ankle sprain is an injury where one or more of the ligaments of the ankle are damaged but not severed. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.
Many sprains occur when participating in sports, or by twisting the ankle when walking on an uneven surface. Some individuals, due to their bone structure or foot type, are more prone to ankle sprains. Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of weak ankles, a condition that some people are born with. Previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to sprains
The signs and symptoms of ankle sprains may include:
- Pain or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness in the joint
In evaluating your injury, the podiatrist will take your history to learn more about the injury. The podiatrist may order x-rays, an MRI study, or a CT scan to help determine the severity of the injury.
Surgical treatment in more severe cases will be required. Surgery often involves repairing the damaged ligament or ligaments.