A sprained ankle happens when an ankle ligament is forced to stretch past its normal range of motion. Ankle ligaments are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that hold your ankle bones and joint in position. Their job is to protect your ankle from abnormal movements like twisting, turning and rolling your foot. The very nature of a ligament is its flexibility to stretch within certain limits and then return to its normal position, thus allowing a safe range of motions for your joints. A severe sprained ankle can mean that the elastic fibers of one or more ligaments of your ankle were stretched or torn. Most ankle sprains need about four to six weeks to heal.
A sprained ankle is a very common injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), approximately 25,000 people of all ages experience a sprained ankle each day. Sometimes, you can sprain your ankle when you're playing sports or performing physical fitness activities. Other times, a sprained ankle happens when you simply step on an uneven surface of step down at an angle.
Types of Sprained Ankles:
Sprained Ankle Severity
Sprained ankles are graded on how mild or severe the strain is:
Sprained Ankle Symptoms
You may experience one or all of these symptoms of an ankle sprain:
Sprained Ankle Treatments
Depending on the severity, treatment options for your sprained ankle may include one or more non-surgical treatment options or, in rare cases, surgery.
Repeated ankle sprains may require surgery to tighten the ligaments.
The Rehabilitation Network of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is dedicated to providing you and your family with result-oriented, comprehensive rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones find relief from pain and get moving again after an accident, illness, injury or surgery. We’re your partner in a safe, healthy, more rapid recovery.