What is an Ankle Sprain?
Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, which may result in excessive stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The most common ligaments involved are the lateral (outside) ankle ligaments since they are the weakest. The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.
Sprained ankles often result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Ankle sprains commonly occur while participating in sports, wearing inappropriate shoes, or walking or running on an uneven surface. Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of a person is born with weak ankles. Previous ankle or foot injuries can also weaken the ankle and lead to sprains.
An untreated ankle sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition marked by persistent discomfort and a giving way of the ankle. It is very important to seek medical attention immediately and start rehabilitation. If left untreated it could lead to complications.
To assess your ankle injury we will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot X-rays or other advanced imaging studies may be ordered to help determine the severity of the injury.
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