Ankle sprains are a common injury in many sports and activities. Sprains commonly occur when the ankle rolls outwards, overstretching the ligaments on the outside of the foot. Less commonly, sprains occur when the ankle rolls inwards.

The outside of the ankle consists of 3 main ligaments, while the inside aspect consists of 1 large ligament. These ligaments are very important to the stability of the ankle joint during physical activity. They connect the lower leg bones to the ankle bones.

Injury

An ankle sprain may occur when:

  • exercising on an uneven surface
  • stopping or pivoting suddenly What do I feel?
  • Sharp pain to outside of ankle
  • Difficulty bearing weight immediately post injury
  • Swelling or bruising
  • A click or pop may be heard

What can I do?

  • Rest – stop exercising, avoid excessive walking
  • ICE (Ice, Compression and Elevation) the ankle
  • See a physiotherapist for rehabilitation and exercises

It normally takes four to six weeks for an ankle injury to heal, depending on severity. It is important that you get assessed correctly by a physiotherapist so that you can begin a rehabilitation program that is appropriate for you and the injury.