Ankle Sprain

The ligaments of the ankle are located on the outside (lateral ligament) and on the inside (medial ligament) of the ankle. They assist in providing balance and stability. The ligaments can be torn or sprained if there is a sudden force resulting in over stretching these ligaments.

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Ankle Sprain

If you tear or sprain the ligaments you may have immediate swelling around the ankle and may or may not be able to walk depending on how large the tear is. You should consult our practitioners immediately for assessment and management to reduce injury time.

Some symptoms include:

  • An episode of your ankle giving way or ‘rolling’. You may hear a ‘pop’ or ‘crack’.
  • Swelling either immediately or over a couple of hours.
  • A significant limp.
  • Loss of movement in the ankle.
  • Loss of balance and confidence in the ankle.

Ankle Sprain

A proportion of ankle injuries however involve other structures within the ankle such as bone, tendon and cartilage inside the ankle (articular cartilage). This can lead to a longer recovery time and result in a troublesome ankle beyond 3-6 months. Rehabilitation following ankle injury is advised to commence immediately to get the best outcome and our Physiotherapists follow you through to the completion of your program. Occasionally (but rarely) surgery is considered for reconstructing the ankle ligaments.

Treatment and management options

We recommend an immediate Physiotherapy assessment to assist in diagnosing your ankle injury. Also commencing Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) immediately for 72 hours. Use crutches if unable to weight bear without pain
Other forms of treatment include:

  • Taping or bracing may be used in the early stage to assist in reducing pain on weight bearing
  • Rebuilding your muscles is imperative for a full return to activity or sport.
  • Walking with a limp is not advised and you must consult a professional immediately.


Whatever stage you’re at, we’re ready to help.

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