Alerts and Notices
SynopsisAnkle sprain is one of the most common injuries presenting to an emergency department or primary care office. It is characterized by damage to ligaments that support the ankle and ankle joint. The most commonly injured ligament is the anterior talofibular ligament; lateral ankle sprain is usually caused by inversion of a plantar-flexed ankle. The calcaneofibular ligament and posterior talofibular ligament can also be injured. Less common ankle injuries are medial ankle sprains (deltoid ligament) and high-ankle sprains (syndesmosis). Ankle sprains affect male and female patients approximately equally.
The most common signs and symptoms include ankle or foot pain, tissue or joint swelling, tenderness, inability to support weight, and limited range of motion. Rupture of multiple ligaments can cause more severe and chronic pain, swelling, and instability.
About half of all cases occur during athletic activity. Ankle sprains may be caused by blunt trauma, falling, or twisting or rolling of the ankle. Additional contributing factors include improper footwear and overuse.
Ankle sprains can be categorized as grade 1, 2, or 3 depending on the degree of tear of ligament, although grade does not always correlate with time to healing.
Related topics: syndesmosis injury, ankle fracture
S93.409A – Sprain of unspecified ligament of unspecified ankle, initial encounter
44465007 – Sprain of ankle
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Ankle fracture
- Osteochondral lesion of talus
- Tendon injury
- Maisonneuve fracture (medial ankle ligamentous injury with proximal fibula fracture)
- Foot fracture (fifth metatarsal base fracture, navicular fracture)