Ankle sprain is the most common ligament injury of the body. It mostly occurs due to inversion of the foot. There are 3 ligaments on the lateral side of the foot. The weakest is located on the front part of the ankle. It is the first ligament that injures during sprain and that’s why in most sprains the anterior part of the ankle swells and ecchymosis occurs. If the spraining force continues, the other stronger 2 ligaments also injures.
The most apparent finding in ankle sprain is pain and swelling. The intensity of pain is dependent on the number of injured ligaments. In all kind of ankle sprain the first intervention is same: ice, elevation and compression by elastic bandage. Short time immobilization by casting may be done to decrease pain and increase mobilization. Physical therapy is useful for rapid healing.
Over 95% of ankle sprains heal during 3-6 weeks period. If the pain continues more than 6 weeks, MR may be required to evaluate the ligaments and joint cartilage. In rare cases, the ankle sprain becomes recurrent. Surgical reconstruction of the ligaments may be required in chronic repeating sprains.