Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain

This is the most common athletic injury accounting for 38-45% in some sports. 85% of all ankle injuries are of the "inversion type" (turning the ankle inward). It is the lateral or outer ligaments of the ankle that are injured.

Symptoms
  • Tenderness and swelling along injured ligament
  • Discoloration to ankle or foot area
  • Difficulty bearing weight due to pain
Treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • X-rays to exclude fracture (broken bone)
  • Pain control
  • Swelling control - ice area 15 minutes with/ 15 minutes without ice
  • Elevate - keep foot/ ankle elevated and supported above heart level as often as possible
Prevention
  • Maintain adequate pre-post game conditioning
  • Ankle supports as recommended by health care worker (ankle stirrups)
    back

Chronic Lateral Ankle Sprain

This is a direct result of recurrent ankle sprains associated with frequent pain, swelling and ankle "giving out".

Treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • RICE
    • rest
    • ice
    • compression
    • elevation
  • Range of motion exercises as designated by athletic trainer of healthcare provider
  • Proprioceptive training (balance techniques and strengthening exercises)
  • Surgical intervention remains controversial but is an option for reinjury in spite of rehabilitation
  • Rule out congenital abnormalities
Prevention
  • Maintain adequate pre-post game conditioning
  • Recognition of chronic symptoms

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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