A sprained ankle occurs when ligaments are forced beyond the normal range of movement and the ankle is out of normal position. It can happen when a person twist, turn or roll his ankle in an awkward position. With this specific movement the ligaments that hold the ankle together can stretch or tear (partially or complete). The function of ligaments in the ankle is to stabilize joints and prevent excessive movement. Usually with a sprained ankle it involves injuries to the ligaments on the outer part of the ankle. Examples of a sprained ankle can include:
If symptoms are severe, there might be significant damage to the ligaments or a broken bone present. Symptoms will include:
A few factors that can increase the risk of getting a sprained include:
Treatment depends on how severe the injury is. Self-care and over-the-counter medications can help but getting a medical evaluation is also necessary. It will determine how badly the sprain is and help getting appropriate and specific treatment. Failing to treat an ankle sprain correctly or returning to sports to quickly can result in complications such as chronic ankle pain and joint instability. It can also lead to arthritis in the joint.
There are a few tips that can help to prevent a sprain: