Ankle Sprain

What is Ankle Sprain?

An ankle sprain is an injury that occurs in your ankles, when you twist, turn or roll your ankles at awkward angles. The bones of ankles are held together using a ligament and the injury damages these ligaments. If you have a sprained ankle, your ankle ligaments would have been moved beyond their normal range of motion. Usually, sprained ankles are associated with tearing of ligaments in the outer edges of the ankle.

For injuries of lesser magnitude, over-the-counter medication may be sufficient. But depending on the extent of damages caused, it is always suggested that you consult a doctor for a thorough medical examination. If a grave injury is left untreated, an ankle sprain might lead to chronic pain, chronic ankle instability or arthritis in the ankle.


The symptoms of a sprained ankle could be:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted range of motion in the angles
  • Pain
  • Being unable to shift body weight on the injured foot


The causes for an ankle sprain could be:

  • Falling from heights
  • Walking and running on uneven surfaces
  • Landing at awkward angles after jumping and pivoting
  • Sports on uneven surfaces and in improper shoes



Ankle sprains could be a possibility if you participate in sports that involve twisting movements of your feet. Being obese and walking or playing on uneven surfaces are other risk factors.



These are some tips to prevent ankle sprains:

  • Be careful when walking on uneven surfaces and snow
  • Warm up your body before exercises and games
  • Avoid using high heels
  • Wear shoes that fit your feet well
  • Wear shoes that are meant for the activity
  • Maintain strong and flexible muscles

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, our experts might use any of the following means to diagnose an ankle sprain:


How is it treated?

Your orthopedic doctor at Medanta may use different treatment modes to treat a sprained ankle, depending on the extent of damages caused. 


  • Pharmacotherapy

    If the injury is simple and damages are not much, your doctor would prescribe over-the-counter painkillers to relieve the pain of an ankle sprain.

  • Device therapy

    As it is painful to shift weight on a sprained ankle, your doctor might recommend the usage of crutches or removable splints until the time of complete recovery.

  • Physical therapy

    After the ligaments in the ankle are healed completely, you can avail the services of a professional physical therapist. The therapist will teach you exercises to gradually regain strength and regain the range of motion in your ankles. Balance and stability training are important to cure ankle sprains, because the ankle muscles work together to support the joints in your feet. If exercising or sports were the cause of your ankle sprain, do consult your doctor before you resume your physical activities. It might be suggested that you wear ankle-braces or wraps, to protect it from further damages.

  • Surgical therapy

    If you have a complicated case of ankle sprain or if other methods of cure do not seem to cause changes in your ligaments, you might be referred to a musculoskeletal specialist for evaluation. Until the healing process is complete, you might have to wear casting or walking boots to immobilize the joints. If the damages are severe, especially in professional sportspersons, surgery might be required to repair the damaged ligaments.

When do I contact the doctor?

If you have a swollen ankle or a painful ankle after a minor injury, consult your doctor. If the pain and swelling are severe, it might also be a fracture.

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