An ankle sprain is a tear in the ligaments that hold part of the ankle in place or connect it to other bones in the leg and foot.
It's a very common, yet painful injury.
When you sprain your ankle:
There are two types of ankle sprains:
The inversion ankle sprain is the more common of the two types.
The ankle area has three sections — high, medial, and lateral. All three areas of the ankle are prone to painful sprains.
Ankle sprains can occur for many reasons.
Some common causes of ankle sprains include:
High impact sports where you run, jump, climb, or kick can put you at risk for an ankle sprain.
Without a proper diagnosis and treatment, an ankle sprain can impede your ability to walk and do other routine activities.
A sprained ankle might cause you to walk unevenly, putting more weight on the healthy ankle and increasing your risk of injuring that ankle.
To make an appointment or learn more about ankle sprains, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain and swelling of the affected area. The pain can be troublesome, or it can be so intense that it's not possible to put any weight on your injured foot.
Twisted ankle symptoms include bruising. The ankle may also feel warm if you touch it.
When you seek treatment for an ankle sprain, the doctor will conduct a physical exam of your ankle and surrounding area for other injuries, including broken skin.
Often, the doctor will request an x-ray to rule out any broken bones in the ankle or foot.
Doctors diagnose or “grade” based on the amount of force applied to the ankle.
Talking to your health care partner about your pain and its location will help with your diagnosis.
A UPMC Sports Medicine expert can help diagnose and manage your ankle sprain. Our team routinely helps people get back in the game after an ankle injury.
When treating a sprained ankle, remember to follow RICE:
If the ankle sprain impacts your ability to walk, you may need crutches or a cane while you heal.
Other ankle sprain treatments for athletes and non-athletes may include:
If you were injured playing a sport, check the conditions under which you were hurt.
Observe field or floor conditions before play and wear the proper footwear for your sport.
A UPMC Sports Medicine expert can help you get back in the game after an ankle sprain and teach you how to prevent another injury.
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