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Ankle Sprain

What is an Ankle Sprain?

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

How long will it last?

Low grade ankle ligament tears can respond well within a matter of weeks. A proportion of ankle injuries however involve other structures within the ankle such as bone, tendon or the 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 Practitioners follow you through to the completion of your program. Occasionally (but rarely) surgery is considered for reconstructing the ankle ligaments.


The symptoms of Ankle Ligament Sprain are:

  • 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.

Suggestions for managing Ankle Ligament  Injuries

  • Commencing Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation immediately for 72 hours. Use crutches if unable to weight bear without pain
  • We recommend an immediate Physiotherapyassessment to assist in diagnosing your ankle ligament to ensure your ankle is stable.
  • Taping or bracing may be used in the early stage to assist in reducing pain on weight bearing
  • If you are injured at work or in sport, our practitioners have approved ankle conditioning programs for your Ankle Injury that will get you back on track sooner with full confidence.
  • Rebuilding your muscles is imperative for a full return to activity or sport. Do not assume that your muscles automatically return after ankle ligament. See our exercise program options.
  • Walking with a limp is not advised and you must consult a professional immediately.

Professional treatment options.

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding ankle injury.

Click here for some ankle injury exercise tips designed by Physiotherapists at The Sports Injury Clinic.